The Great Iowa Bike Ride

Have you heard about RAGBRAI? Unless you live in Iowa or are an avid bicyclist, chances are that you have not. But, if this strangely named event piques your interest, then keep reading to learn all about it.

Although the word “RAGBRAI” may seem odd, it is actually an acronym that stands for the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. This annual event, which is organized by the Des Moines Register, sends avid bicyclists across the state starting in the west and moving eastward. The event is not competitive, so it attracts numerous recreational bikers not only from across the United States, but internationally as well. The first RAGBRAI race was conducted in 1973 and has grown to be the largest event of its kind in the world.

The RAGBRAI ride takes seven days to complete. It begins in a designated town on the eastern border of Iowa. It stops in various cities throughout the state and then ends in another designated town on the state’s western border. The ride takes place during the end of July. It starts on the second to last Sunday of the month and then concludes on the last Sunday of the month. The earliest starting date is July 19 and the latest is July 25.

The length of the ride averages 467.925 miles, with an average daily distance of 67.09 miles between host communities. Each year, eight different “host communities” are chosen. These communities signify the beginning and end of the race as well as six overnight stops. Over the years, there have been host communities in each of Iowa’s 99 counties. Fourteen different cities have acted as starting points, 12 have served as the finish line, and 105 cities have acted as host communities.

RAGBRAI also holds a lottery to choose 8,500 people to participate in the ride. The lottery accepts entries between November 15 and April 1 every year. People interesting in entering the lottery can fill out the form on the RAGBRAI website and either submit it online or print it out and mail it to the Des Moines Register. There are also passes available for the first 1,500 day riders. Iowa bicycle clubs and charters, teams, and other groups can get passes for their members. Non-registered riders can also participate. In fact, they often outnumber the registered riders.

This annual event continues to grow in popularity every year. People from all over the world look forward to it, and flock to Iowa just to hit the road on their bikes and visit the beautiful Iowa countryside. RAGBRAI is truly one more event that makes Iowa spectacular.

5 PLACES TO SEE WILDLIFE IN ASIA

Every traveler agree to the fact that seeing and exploring wild animals in their natural habitats is not only exciting but also a wonderful experience. Over the years, travelers from the west and all over the world have been drawn by the lush tropical landscape as well as the eco-tourism adventures in Asia. Despite the fact that Asia is facing challenges in rehabilitating endangered animal species, the animal kingdom of this continent has much to offer. We’ve made it easier for you to choose the best places to see wildlife in Asia.

Bonin Islands, Japan

Despite being a remote destination, the Bonin Islands in Japan are a home to a many different species of crabs, insects, and birds. What you’ll find on these islands cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. You can reach the islands using a ferry-ride. That should take you about twenty five hours. There’s still more to see as you travel to the Bonin Islands. Humpback whales can be seen from February to April while Dolphins are always around throughout the year. If you want to see sperm whales, visiting during autumns and summers would be the perfect time.

Calauit Wildlife Sanctuary, the Philippines

This wildlife sanctuary features zebras, impalas, giraffes, gazelles and other animal species adopted from Africa. It’s not different from visiting Africa. In fact, visiting this sanctuary gives you an opportunity to explore more than 104 animal species closer to home and on a friendlier budget. Established in 1976, the wildlife sanctuary is also home to the Calamian deer and other local wildlife.

Gunung Leuser National Park, Indonesia

The Gunung Leuser National Park is considered the best place to explore and see wild animals in Asia. The park features more than five hundred animal species including clouded leopards, flying frogs, Sumatran tigers, and Sambar deer. There are almost two hundred types of mammals in this park.

Similan Islands, Thailand

Whether you’re looking for the aquatic form of wildlife, aerial or terrestrial, the Similan Islands in Thailand has it all. It’s one of the best diving destinations across the world. That means you have the opportunity to see sea turtles, birds, pythons, lizards and other wildlife while also enjoying other activities such as snorkeling and diving.

Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Every traveler needs to visit the Yala National Park. It’s the oldest national park in Sri Lanka and well known for the many leopards and elephants. Most of the people who come here come are attracted by these animals as well as the historical and religious ruins in the park.

GULF SHORES, ALABAMA: THE PERFECT FAMILY GETAWAY

Most people only think of Florida when it comes to experiencing the most beautiful beaches in the United States. It’s time you visited Alabama’s Gulf Coast since that’s exactly what you can expect. You’ll also experience a near-perfect weather just as it is in Florida. Alabama’s Gulf Coast features vacation rentals, luxury resorts, golf courses alongside a long stretch of white-sand beaches. You can’t go wrong with the family attractions at this destination.

Every year, families flock this sunny town to have fun while experiencing the warm weather and the kid-friendly beaches. With glistening waters, the Gulf Shores is now one of America’s major tourist destination. It is particularly an attractive travel destination for kids and families since there are great accommodation choices including Martinique on the Gulf. This resort is one of its kind and provides vacation rentals for families and groups of any size. Whether you’re looking for condos or a beachfront house, there’s nothing to worry about.

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge

Of course, you won’t just come here to spend all your time lying on the beach. You’ll need other activities to do. The national wildlife refuge spans seven thousand acres of coastal sand dunes and is home to sea turtles and migratory birds. If you love hiking, you can take advantage of the hiking trails in the park as you explore the native plants growing in abundance.

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

This is a perfect site for your kids as it offers small children with the opportunity to watch the safe animals at a close distance. Although the zoo is small, it’s one of the most popular zoos in the country.

Fort Morgan Historic Site

Built in 1834, this site served as an action center during the Civil War. It’s a family friendly attraction and an impressive site. You can stop by the museum to find out more about the historical background of the site before exploring the entire area.

If you have kids, you don’t want to leave the Gulf Shore before getting them to the Waterville USA. This is the perfect spot for your kids. As a matter of fact, it’s the kind of water-park every small child wants to experience. There’s also a safe place where your toddler can cool off. When it comes to sporting activities, you can explore some of the gold courses around such as the Kiva Dunes Golf Club. You need time together with your partner as well. While the kids are having fun at the resort, the two of you can head out to one of the eateries and enjoy a romantic dinner together.