RAGBRAI’s rolling city takes one week to cross Iowa spending each night in a different city. In central Iowa, four towns will be opening up their hospitality for the group.
For the towns along the way, there is much planning and a lot of volunteers to coordinate. The work takes months.
“We bid for it, we wanted it and then when we got it and we got that first book we were like ‘wow! This is incredible,” says Bob Wilson of the Perry Chamber of Commerce.
Perry visitors may see the new Raccoon River Bike Trail but are not encouraged to ride it as emergency vehicles can’t get access to the trail.
However, a visit to Perry’s downtown including the Albert Paley sculpture and Hotel Patee will be on many cyclists’ agenda.
In Oskaloosa, visitors will hang out at the scenic courthouse square - Travel and Leisure Magazine designated the square the most beautiful in the Midwest.
Many city committees have been getting things ready. Hosting RAGBRAI can cost a community well over $100,000.
“it should be covered if we get sales in our beverage counters but we may not get the good beverages sales if we get rain,” says John Sullivan.
In Knoxville the community is hopeful of turning a profit to help the community.
Riders in Knoxville will get to take a lap around the Knoxville raceway which will be packed and dried out by then.
They will also cross Red Rock Lake on the mile long bridge but here too the local organizers needed to solve a problem.
“There are some grates there that has the potential to tear up tires. A local firm is going to actually specially make covers for these grate,” says Larissa Van Donselaar of the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce.
In all it takes months of planning for a one day visit which will hopefully leave a positive impression for years.
RAGBRAI begins on July 21st in Council Bluffs.