State Center Loop
This route was scouted by: Dana Bresler, Iowa Valley Bicycle Club
Length: 34 miles
Surface: Paved Roads
Parking and Restrooms: Marshalltown City Square
State Center isn’t actually the geographic center of Iowa, but it is known as the Rose Capital of Iowa. Stop and smell them with this loop that begins at the Marshall County Courthouse in Marshalltown.
Head west on Main 13th Street. Turn right on 13th and go three blocks until 13th tees with Summit Street at the Iowa Veterans Home. The road threads under a railroad overpass then curves several times as you ease your way north and west. When you reach Hwy 330, turn north for .5 miles until you reach E29. 330 is a busy and narrow road; use extra caution.
Now, it gets easier. Turn west on E29, pedaling on a steady die of rolling hills until you reach S52. A south turn brings you all the way to State Center. Just after you pass over the railroad tracks, stop at Cissy’s II convenience store for a break.
To leave State Center, turn east on Main Street to 5th Avenue SE, curve to the south, then come to a T with the Old Lincoln Highway, called F36. Continue east, passing the Lincoln Valley Golf Course, county road S62, and the Marshall County Jail complex.
Watch carefully for S70, where you turn north and sail down a long hill, crossing Linn Creek and a set of railroad tracks at the bottom. Shift now to a lower gear and immediately start climbing through the small town of LaMoille.
After that, it’s flat all the way to your turn to the east at Main Street Road, which takes you back to downtown Marshalltown. Be careful crossing rough tracks between Highland Acre Road and 13th Street.
Side trip: Visit State Center’s rose gardens on the southeast side of town, 201 W. Main Street.
Where to say: The Woodland B&B (641-753-5351)
I started riding bicycles in 1974. That year I rode RAGBRAI (at that time called SAGBRAI). 1975 we moved to Pittsburgh, PA for my work and I continued riding my bike. I was a member of and, for several years, the ride coordinator for the Western Pennsylvania Wheelmen. We moved back to Marshalltown in 1989 and I started riding my bike again in 1997. That year I joined the Iowa Valley Bicycle Club and rode RAGBRAI. I ride RAGBRAI almost every year and I am the ticket coordinator for IVBC’s RAGBRAI charter. We carry 110 riders every year. I ride all the local and regional rides, TOMRV, and I have ridden two Bicycle Tours of Colorado. Since 2000 I have ridden Trek bikes and my current bike is a 2009 Trek Madone 5.2. I pedal about 3000 – 3500 miles each year.