Iowa Isn’t Flat
This route was scouted by: Rich Ketcham, GeoBike.com
Length: 41 Miles
Surface: Paved Roads
Parking and Restrooms: Boone and Scenic Valley Railway
This route is ideal if you want to mix in some hill climbing with your ride while you cross the Des Moines River valley twice (each about 180 feet of climb).
After parking at the Boone & Scenic Valley Railway Depot, proceed north on Division St. where you will merge onto R21. Pedal past the intersection of E18 and continue north on R21. Pass through Ridgeport (no services), which is located on a terminal morain; the view from here is great. In about 3.5 miles, turn left onto D64. D64 merges onto Hwy 175. Proceed west on Hwy 175 and enjoy your first cycling through the river valley. About a mile after you climb out of the valley, turn left (south) onto P70. (At the intersection of E18, you can optionally turn east to stop in Pilot Mound – about 1.5 miles extra.)
In Ogden, refuel at The Country Chit Chat. At the intersection of P70 and Main, turn left (east). Main transitions into E41 and Boone is only 8 miles and one valley traversal away. The descent into the river valley is a long gentle grade to enjoy. The climb out of the valley puts you at the western edge of Boone. Turn left onto Ringold to avoid traffic, right onto 8th, left onto Marion, and right onto 10th to return to the railroad depot. Boone has numerous dining options.
Where to stay: MonteBello B&B Inn (515-296-2181)
Rich Ketcham, The GeoBike Guy, is a long-time cycling enthusiast. When not cycling, Rich is a self-employed information technology consultant living in Ames with his wife, Deb, and their two (crazy) cats. Since 1996, he has supplied GeoBike route profiles to a number of rides, including RAGBRAI.