The full RAGBRAI route for 2009 was published this week. We are going to be going along the southern half of Iowa.
One of the things my friend Jim, who did RAGBRAI once in his teenage years (and, in his own words, "will not be doing it again"), keeps highlighting for me is that RAGBRAI was in part created to prove that Iowa was not flat. There is a strong desire on the part of states to prove to cyclists they are not flat it seems. Texas Hellweek has a similar motto. There is certainly no lack of climbing in the 2009 RAGBRAI route. This graph shows the mileage and climbing feet for each day.
Looking back on my posts from Texas Hellweek 2001 those routes had about 5,000 feet of climbing every day. It looks like Monday and Tuesday will be some good challenges.
Feet of climbing though has to be gauged with the distance of the leg. A better way to look at it is feet of climbing per mile.
I'd say the route planners were pretty kind. The ride gets more gentle (on average) over the course of the week. Good stuff! Check out the complete route map on the Des Moines Register site for the details.