Kingsley is on RAGBRAI 2023 route

Friday, March 17, 2023

KINGSLEY — The community of Kingsley will be the first town participants of RAGBRAI 2023 will stop at when the ride starts in July.

RAGBRAI bicyclists will depart from Sioux City on Sunday, July 22, and travel east on Woodbury County Road D-12 to Highway 140 into Kingsley.

From Kingsley, riders will travel on County Road C-66 to Washta, a meeting town, and Quimby before making its first overnight stop in Storm Lake.

The seven-day ride will have overnight stops in Storm Lake, Carroll, Ames, Des Moines, Tama-Toledo, and Coralville before ending in Davenport on Saturday, July 29.

The complete route was announced March 13.

Kingsley Mayor Rick Bohle said he had a good idea Kingsley would be on the route for 2023.

“We knew it was the 50th ride and they came through here on the first one and figured they might take the same route,” Bohle said.

“They say it’s supposed to be pretty big, expecting up to closer to 50,000 people this year, so being the first pass through time, that means we get all that,” he said. “It makes it fun but just to get them through town, get them a place to stop and take a break, and something to eat and then move on is a lot to do.”

Bohle and his brother served as co-chairs for the community when RAGBRAI came through in 2015.

Since that first ride in 1973, Kingsley has had RAGBRAI riders come through in 2001, 2010, and 2015.

“Yeah, we have some experience,” he said. “We know things we don’t want to do again. We figured out stuff like that.”

The Kingsley contingent will attend a meeting with RAGBRAI officials in Des Moines on April 1.

“We will hear any new rules and changes they may have made, and will pick that up and then kind of go off of what we did before and try to make it better than the last time,” Bohle said.

The mayor said most people in town are excited about hosting the ride again.

“We’ll get our committees set up so we can take free of all the logistics for it,” he said.

That will include everything from parking and space for vendors to set up, to making sure there are enough power sources.

“The last time they came through, we had set up temporary power, but we made services where they needed to be and left them for other events in town as well. So we’re kind of hard-wired into everything we need now and that will make it a bit easier,” he continued.

Bohle still remembers trying to cross a street in 2015 to get water to fill bottles for some riders.

“It was just a river of people going by, you could hardly get across the street, it was just crazy. I imagine this will be a little more hectic for a little while. But we’ll know what to do ahead of time this time around, and get everyone in and out safely,” he said.

Being the first stop on the ride, Kingsley residents can expect riders to come through town early, ready to have some breakfast and pie.

“Last time, we had riders coming into town at 6 a.m.,” he recalled. “And of course you have the other ones who lag behind and you try to get them out of town on time. It’s 45 miles to the overnight stop, so they will have a lot of riding to do that day,” he said.

The first day ride will cover 77 miles and includes a Mile of Silence. It is also Throwback Jersey Day.

According to the blog on the website,, “More than any other day on this year’s ride, Day 1 will mirror the original route in August 1973. Riders will travel to Kingsley, Washta and Quimby along many of the same roads that carried RAGBRAI founders and Register journalists John Karras and Donald Kaul and the 200 people who rode with them.”

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: