Clinton is the end of the road today for this year’s RAGBRAI. Riders spent the night in Anamosa and will ride through Hale, Oxford Junction, Lost Nation, Elwood, Delmar, Charlotte, Goose Lake before ending up in Clinton. Francie Hill, from Clinton’s RAGBRAI committee, says the majority of today’s ride is along Highway 136, and one of the duties is to let the locals know several thousand riders are coming.
“All of the people along the route have been sent letters telling them how they can get in and out,” according to Hill. Many bikers left their cars in a secured parking lot where they’ll pick them up after the ride.
Hill says after riders dip their tires into the Mississippi, then they can go and have their bikes shipped home, and a shuttle bus will take them to their cars. Some RAGBRAI riders and their support teams will head for home right away. But many will stay and camp at Clinton’s Riverview Park.
Riders will be greeted in Clinton by art created from “junker bikes.” “And these junker bikes we dipped in red,white and blue and they are going to be put up along the route down by the dip site,” Hill says. The bikes will taken in for scrap metal after the ride and the money will be donated to bike clubs.
Hill also says downtown business owners have placed old bicycles in their storefront windows. One of the bikes belongs to a local judge who used to ride it to the courthouse when he was an attorney. Another bike came from a woman whose husband was in World War Two and she road it to get groceries.
A recent study shows the ride has a three-million-dollar per day impact on Iowa’s economy, and 25 million dollars in direct spending for the entire week.