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Learning About the Land - A Geologic Guide to the RAGBRAI Challenge
Posted: 07/19/2012
IOWA CITY – Cyclists who join the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) can find their guide to the state’s challenging terrain in a series of brochures highlighting the natural resources of the state.  

Maps, cross sections and articles included in the seven-day series will help participants locate nearby parks, cities and geologic landmarks, including the Sioux Quartzite that colors many of northwest Iowa’s roads pink, the terminal moraine of the Des Moines Lobe, kettle lakes and the deep Midcontinent Rift.

The brochures highlight the route and the elevations that cyclists will traverse. RAGBRAI riders can also find points of interest and information about the natural features they will find each day. Riders on Day 5 can expect a knee-breaking climb of 3,600 feet on the run from Marshalltown to Cedar Rapids, while crossing broad shallow valleys abundantly dotted with glacial boulders.

Look for “Learn About the Land” brochures at the Iowa Archaeology Outreach booth at Expo and on Days 5 and 6 of the ride. U.S. Geological Survey staff will be on hand to answer questions. Or, find brochures on the DNR- Iowa Geological and Water Survey website:

The DNR’s Geological and Water Survey and the U.S. Geological Survey created the brochures with support from the Iowa Limestone Producers Association.