June 16, 2024

Bike ride through Greenfield still on

RAGBRAI officials confirmed Thursday the route for this year’s ride will still pass through Greenfield despite it being two months after an EF4 tornado destroyed a portion of the town and killed four people. The confirmation was provided to Greenfield officials.

The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa begins July 21 in Glenwood and is scheduled to pass through Greenfield on July 23. Riders will leave Atlantic, an overnight stop, for Winterset which is the overnight stop. The route will include a portion of Adair County that had tornado damage the afternoon of Tuesday, May 21.

The route through Greenfield is still expected to include riders going around the town square with the centerpiece being the Adair County Courthouse. The route through town has not been confirmed as riders may see where the tornado went through town. The tornado started in the south central portion of Greenfield and went in a northeast direction destroying dozens of homes, properties and forcing the town’s hospital to be closed indefinitely because of damage.

The route will be determined later this month.

The starting point for the ride will be Glenwood on Keg Creek, a Missouri River tributary, and the end will be in Burlington on the banks of the Mississippi. Overnight stops will be in Red Oak, Atlantic, Winterset, Knoxville, Ottumwa and Mount Pleasant.

According to RAGBRAI officails, at 424 miles, the 51st ride route will be among the shortest on record, about 75 miles less than the 2023 edition. Sunday, Monday and Saturday will each cover no more than 45 miles, and Thursday will be 60 miles. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday will range from 74 to 82 miles, with at least 3,000 feet of climb each day. The route is the “hilliest” in ride history.

John Van Nostrand


An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.