The southeast Iowa town of Sigourney is hosting an overnight stop for RAGBRAI riders for the first time in 23 years.
Sigourney resident Staci White is hoping bicyclists have a better time than they did in 1995, as the ride to the Keokuk County town is remembered as one of the most difficult days on RAGBRAI in the event’s 36-year history.
“It was extremely hot, with horrible headwinds, and it was just not a good experience for the riders,” White recalled. “We were all disappointed.” The experience was so awful, many riders joked they would only return to Sigourney “when pigs fly.” That inspired this year’s theme for the day five stop, “Sigourney – Where Pigs Fly.”
The headline entertainment tonight is the band The Pork Tornadoes. Just over 2,000 people live in Sigourney, where roughly 20,000 visitors will be spending the night. There are five campground areas set up and White says many riders will be pitching tents in people’s yards.
“My neighbor is actually housing, I think, like 86 people,” White said. “Other people are housing 60 or 70 people.” White is encouraging anyone who visits Sigourney to spend time at the Lewis Memorial Fountain.
“Especially in the evening when it’s lit up with different colors, it’s absolutely gorgeous,” White said. The three-pooled fountain, located on the courthouse lawn in downtown Sigourney, was presented as a gift to the town in 1940 by John Q. Lewis. RAGBRAI riders will leave Sigourney Friday morning and pedal 57.6 miles to the day six overnight stop in Iowa City.