This is the 36th year for RAGBRAI, which started Sunday in Missouri Valley. The roughly 10,000 participants in RAGBRAI are being challenged today. The bike riders are peddling from Harlan to Jefferson in western Iowa.
"It’s about a mile of climb, over five-thousand feet of climb, and it’s 83 miles," RAGBRAI director T.J. Juskiewicz said. "It’s one of the toughest days in RAGBRAI history. The week long route covers 471 miles across the state, with upcoming overnight stops in Ames, Tama/Toledo, North Liberty and Tipton.
The ride ends Saturday in LeClaire. "It brings a tremendous economic boost to these towns," Juskiewicz said. "Obviously, quite a few towns have had interesting Springs with the weather situation. So they could probably use a good shot in the arm economically." Some of the events scheduled for RAGBRAIs stop in Story County will raise money for victims of the severe weather in May and June.
Juskiewicz says the bands Styx and The Nadas will play a concert in Ames Tuesday night, with proceeds going to the Embrace Iowa campaign. Tickets for the general public are $10. RAGBRAI riders will be charged $5. RAGBRAI is the oldest, longest and largest annual bicycle touring event in the United States.