The route for the upcoming Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa was announced over the weekend, along with the eight overnight stops. RAGBRAI will begin July 22nd in Sioux Center, with stops in Cherokee, Lake View, Webster City, Marshalltown, Cedar Rapids, Anamosa and ending July 28th in Clinton.
Kent Harfst is the parks and recreation director in Webster City, one of the midweek host cities. “The last couple of years, we’ve been working real hard on lobbying to get RAGBRAI back to Webster City,” Harfst says.
“It costs a little bit of money but it’s going to be a great thing. It’s been a tough time economically around here and that’s going to give a boost to everybody in the community.” Host cities will start working with ride officials right away to determine the best ways to handle some 20,000 bicyclists, support crews and spectators.
“They have a 55-page handbook that they give to the communities to help them through the process,” Harfst says. “The number-one concern is traffic safety for everybody, for the bicyclists as well as the groups that are coming into town in vehicles. We’ll look at different types of entertainment and there will be one or two major campgrounds and we’ll have to figure out a location for that, too.”
This will be the 40th year for the statewide ride which brings pedalers from around the world for the weeklong trek across Iowa. This year’s version will run 471 miles from the Missouri River to the Mississippi. Learn more at www.ragbrai.com.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City