Top 10 Must-Experience Motorcycle Rides in Iowa

Top 10 Must-Experience Motorcycle Rides in Iowa

Iowa may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of motorcycle riding, but it's a hidden gem with a variety of scenic routes and exciting events that cater to two-wheel enthusiasts. From the serene views of Lake Macbride to the vibrant atmosphere of RAGBRAI, Iowa offers a unique mix of terrain and community that makes it a must-visit destination for riders. In this article, we explore the top 10 must-experience motorcycle rides in Iowa, each offering its own unique appeal to riders of all tastes and skill levels.

Key Takeaways

  • Iowa's diverse landscape offers a range of motorcycle rides, from tranquil nature trails to lively city events.
  • The Lake Macbride Fat Tire Classic is renowned for its picturesque trails and engaging community of riders.
  • Events like the Sperm Ride and RAGBRAI LI showcase Iowa's festive side, combining cycling with celebration.
  • Gravel riding is a popular activity in Iowa, with events like the Colfax Gravel Bonanza Fondo providing challenging terrains for enthusiasts.
  • Iowa's motorcycle community is well-connected and active, with resources like BIKEIOWA offering information on events, trails, and local advocacy.

1. Lake Macbride Fat Tire Classic

1. Lake Macbride Fat Tire Classic

The Lake Macbride Fat Tire Classic stands as a testament to Iowa's rich cycling culture, offering an immersive experience for enthusiasts of the sport. With Iowa's extensive trail systems and bicycle-friendly communities, the event is a highlight in the state's calendar, attracting cyclists eager to navigate its low traffic farm-to-market roads.

Scheduled for March 9, 2024, in Windsor Heights, IA, the Lake Macbride Fat Tire Classic is not just a race but a celebration of the cycling community. Participants can look forward to a day filled with challenging courses and scenic views, encapsulating the spirit of Iowa's outdoor adventure.

The essence of the event is not solely in the competition but in the camaraderie and the shared passion for cycling that brings participants together from across the region.

As cyclists prepare for the event, it is crucial to consider the appropriate motorcycling gear, including pants, shorts, and accessories, to ensure a comfortable and safe ride. The event also serves as an opportunity to explore the impact of such rallies on local economies and communities, often bringing a surge of activity and enthusiasm to the area.

2. Sperm Ride

2. Sperm Ride

The Sperm Ride, a unique event in Windsor Heights, Iowa, is a party ride that stands out for its festive atmosphere. Scheduled for the 9th and 10th of March, 2024, it invites enthusiasts to partake in a weekend of cycling revelry.

  • Date: 9-10 March 2024
  • Location: Windsor Heights, IA
  • Type: Party Ride
  • Participants: Approximately 435

This ride is characterized by its casual and jovial spirit, making it a must-experience for those looking to combine their love for cycling with a vibrant social scene.

The Sperm Ride exemplifies the communal aspect of cycling, where the journey and the camaraderie are as celebrated as the physical challenge.

3. Iowa Spring Classic - Cumming

3. Iowa Spring Classic - Cumming

The Iowa Spring Classic in Cumming is a gravel ride that beckons cyclists with the promise of both challenge and camaraderie. Scheduled for Saturday, March 23, 2024, this event is not just a test of endurance but also a celebration of the cycling community.

Participants can expect a course that weaves through the scenic landscapes of Iowa, offering a mix of terrains that will test their mettle. With 802 registered participants, the Iowa Spring Classic is a significant event in the state's cycling calendar.

The Iowa Spring Classic is more than a ride; it's a springtime ritual for the local cycling community, marking the transition from the cold grasp of winter to the warmer embrace of spring.

For those looking to participate, here are some key details:

  • Date: Saturday, March 23, 2024
  • Location: Cumming, IA
  • Type of Ride: Gravel
  • Number of Participants: 802

As riders prepare for the event, they should be mindful of the conditions and ensure they are well-equipped for the gravel roads. The Iowa Spring Classic is an opportunity to push personal boundaries and enjoy the spirit of adventure that comes with open-road cycling.

4. Gents Race 14

4. Gents Race 14

The Gents Race 14 is a unique event that encapsulates the spirit of camaraderie and competition among Iowa's motorcycle enthusiasts. This annual race is not just about speed; it's a test of endurance, strategy, and teamwork. Teams of riders navigate through a predetermined course, with the primary goal of completing the race, rather than simply winning it.

The event is structured to encourage participation from riders of various skill levels, making it an inclusive experience for all. Below is the schedule for the upcoming Gents Race 14:

  • Friday, May 24, 2024: Sprint Series
  • Friday, May 31, 2024: A.I.R.S. Vintage Series (Note: No Hobby Stocks this week)
  • Sunday, June 23, 2024: Hawkeye Downs Enduro Race
The Gents Race 14 is more than a competition; it's a celebration of the motorcycle community's passion and dedication. It's an event where the journey is as significant as the destination, and every participant is a testament to the enduring spirit of this beloved pastime.

As riders prepare for the upcoming race, they look forward to the Route 66 Spring Fever Rally 2024, another exhilarating event that celebrates American biker culture with entertainment and revelry.

5. Toppling Goliath's Bikes Brews and Blues

5. Toppling Goliath's Bikes Brews and Blues

The Toppling Goliath's Bikes Brews and Blues event is a quintessential gathering for motorcycle enthusiasts seeking a blend of open-road adventure and cultural indulgence. Scheduled for Sat June 29, 2024, in Decorah, IA, this event promises a day filled with the roar of engines, the taste of local brews, and the soulful rhythms of blues music.

Participants can expect an experience that goes beyond the typical ride, with opportunities to engage with a community of like-minded individuals. The event is not just about the ride; it's a celebration of the biker lifestyle, complete with live music and local culinary delights.

The essence of this event lies in the convergence of passion for motorcycles, appreciation for craft beers, and love for blues music, creating an atmosphere that is both exhilarating and relaxing.

For those planning to attend, here are the details:

  • Date: June 29, 2024
  • Location: Decorah, IA
  • Activities: Motorcycle ride, live music, local food and brews

Mark your calendars and prepare for an unforgettable journey at the Toppling Goliath's Bikes Brews and Blues.



The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, known as RAGBRAI, is a hallmark event that attracts cyclists from around the globe. Scheduled for July 20, 2024, in Glenwood, IA, this ride is not just a test of endurance but a celebration of Iowa's scenic landscapes and community spirit.

RAGBRAI is more than a mere bike ride; it's a week-long adventure that weaves through the picturesque towns and rolling hills of Iowa. Participants can expect a blend of challenge and camaraderie, as the ride promotes both personal achievement and collective enjoyment.

Emphasizing the importance of safety and preparedness, riders are encouraged to gear up adequately and stay vigilant on the diverse terrains they will encounter.

The event is deeply rooted in the state's culture, showcasing the best of what Iowa has to offer to the cycling community. With its grassroots beginnings, RAGBRAI has grown into a beloved tradition, symbolizing the adventurous spirit and hospitality of Iowans.

7. Core4

The Core4 experience is a unique opportunity for motorcycle enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the scenic beauty and camaraderie of Iowa's riding community. With a focus on inclusivity and accessibility, the event caters to riders of all skill levels, offering a chance to explore the less-traveled roads of the state.

Participants can expect a well-organized event with clear guidelines and support, ensuring a safe and enjoyable ride. The entry fees are structured to be affordable, with different rates for members and non-members, as well as reduced prices for younger riders.

Embrace the spirit of adventure and community as you navigate through Iowa's picturesque landscapes on two wheels.

For those interested in the specifics of participation, here is a breakdown of the entry fees:

  • Members: $10
  • Non-Members: $15
  • Ages 7 - 12: Special Rate

Mark your calendars and join the vibrant atmosphere of the Core4 ride, promising an experience that blends tradition with the thrill of discovery.

8. Goliath Gravel Grinder

8. Goliath Gravel Grinder

The Goliath Gravel Grinder stands as a testament to Iowa's diverse cycling terrain, offering participants a challenging and scenic experience through the state's rolling hills and picturesque landscapes. Scheduled for September 28, 2024, in Decorah, IA, this event is not just a ride but a celebration of the gravel grinding community.

Participants can expect a course that will test their endurance and skill, with a mix of terrain that caters to both seasoned veterans and those new to gravel riding. The event emphasizes the spirit of adventure, encouraging riders to push their limits while enjoying the camaraderie of fellow cyclists.

The Goliath Gravel Grinder is an opportunity to immerse oneself in the raw beauty of Iowa's countryside, where every pedal stroke brings a new vista and a fresh challenge.

As the event approaches, riders are encouraged to prepare adequately, ensuring their bikes are well-maintained and that they are physically ready for the demands of the course. Safety is paramount, and participants are reminded to prioritize it above all else during their ride.

9. 27th Annual Shamrock Ride - Dyersville

9. 27th Annual Shamrock Ride - Dyersville

The 27th Annual Shamrock Ride in Dyersville, Iowa, is a festive event that combines the spirit of St. Patrick's Day with the joy of cycling. Scheduled for March 16, 2024, this party ride is an opportunity for cyclists to don their best green attire and celebrate amidst the historic backdrop of Dyersville.

Participants can look forward to a certified 3-mile route that is professionally timed, ensuring that both casual riders and competitive cyclists can track their performance. The event is known for its lively atmosphere, complete with a live DJ, a costume contest, and the allowance of dogs, making it a family-friendly affair.

The Shamrock Ride is more than just a race; it's a community celebration that highlights the camaraderie and festive spirit of Iowa's cycling culture.

With an expected attendance of 188 participants, the Shamrock Ride promises to be an intimate yet vibrant gathering of cycling enthusiasts. Below is a summary of the event details:

  • Date: March 16, 2024
  • Location: Dyersville, IA
  • Type: Party Ride
  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Features: Costume Contest, Live DJ, Dogs Allowed

The event also includes an awesome race T-shirt for all participants, adding to the memorabilia of this unique experience. As the ride takes place in the heart of Dyersville, riders will be treated to the charm and history of the town, making it a memorable ride for all.

10. Colfax Gravel Bonanza Fondo

10. Colfax Gravel Bonanza Fondo

The Colfax Gravel Bonanza Fondo presents a unique opportunity for cyclists to engage with Iowa's picturesque landscapes through a challenging gravel course. This event, marked by its camaraderie and the spirit of adventure, is a must-experience for both seasoned gravel grinders and those new to the scene.

Participants can expect a well-organized event with clear route markings and support stations. The ride typically features a variety of distances to cater to different skill levels, ensuring an inclusive experience for all riders.

The Colfax Gravel Bonanza Fondo is not just a ride; it's a celebration of the gravel riding community in Iowa, offering a perfect blend of competition and leisure.

For those looking to prepare, it is advisable to gear up with appropriate attire, including motorcycle pants and accessories, to ensure safety and comfort throughout the journey. The event encapsulates the essence of Iowa's gravel riding culture, making it an indispensable part of the state's top motorcycle rides.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of motorcycle rides can I experience in Iowa?

Iowa offers a variety of motorcycle rides including scenic tours, gravel grinds, party rides, and classic events like the RAGBRAI and the Lake Macbride Fat Tire Classic.

Are there any special events for motorcycle enthusiasts in Iowa?

Yes, Iowa hosts several motorcycle events throughout the year such as the Sperm Ride, Iowa Spring Classic - Cumming, Gents Race 14, and the Toppling Goliath's Bikes Brews and Blues.

Can beginners participate in Iowa motorcycle rides?

Absolutely! Iowa has rides suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to experienced riders. Always check the event details to ensure it matches your comfort and skill level.

What should I bring to a motorcycle ride event in Iowa?

It's recommended to bring your motorcycle, safety gear, water, snacks, a basic repair kit, and any other personal items you may need for the day.

How can I find out about upcoming motorcycle ride events in Iowa?

You can visit BIKEIOWA's website, check their upcoming events section, or subscribe to ride reminder newsletters to stay informed about future rides.

Are there any resources for cyclists new to Iowa?

Yes, the BIKEIOWA website offers a wealth of resources including trail maps, community portals, and FAQs for cyclists new to the state.

What is RAGBRAI and can I participate?

RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) is an annual seven-day bicycle ride across the state. Participation is open to everyone, but registration is required.

Are the motorcycle rides in Iowa family-friendly?

Many motorcycle rides in Iowa are family-friendly and cater to all ages. Look for events tagged as 'all ages' to ensure they are suitable for families.

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