Plans for this summer’s RAGBRAI move forward, COVID or no COVID
Organizers hope the thousands of RAGBRAI riders will be pedaling across Iowa this summer. Last year’s edition of the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa was cancelled because of the pandemic. The 2021 ride will start in Le Mars and end a week later in Clinton. Lesley Webster, director of the Clinton Convention and Visitors Bureau, says they’re working to create a safe destination.
We assume that COVID will be somewhat of a factor still, so we want space where people can cue up and there’s still space around them and they don’t have to be right on top of other people,” Webster says. “We’re aiming for a nice, smooth flow and I think that’s going to be great.” RAGBRAI offers a tremendous economic boost to cities and towns along the route, with up to 20,000 riders likely. Many thousands of volunteers will be needed statewide to make it all work. Webster says Clinton already has several committees in place and projects are underway.
“There are already some things in the works, like some really cool, metal frames for photo opportunities,” Webster says. “We have a local person that’s designing them, welding them and putting them together, and things like that.” On Sunday, July 25th, riders will begin the ride by dipping their back tires in the Missouri River in Le Mars. Then they’ll pedal to Storm Lake, Fort Dodge, Iowa Falls, Waterloo, Anamosa, DeWitt, and will finally arrive in Clinton on Saturday, July 31st, to dip their front tires in the Mississippi.
(By Michelle O’Neill, WVIK, Rock Island)