No matter how hard you plan for RAGBRAI, it’s almost impossible to predict how many bikers will ride down Des Moines streets.
Business owner George Migliero says, “I mean with ten thousand bikers signed up and then having you know another 20 thousand possibly more people that tag along, the support groups. I just can’t imagine.”
Organizers say the routes riders use will be busy, but the places most packed with people will actually be where the participants park their bikes. Director of the Historic Valley Junction Foundation Jim Miller says, “It’s a whole lot of people for one single day it’s the most amount of people that will every come through this district.”
Starting bright and early the blocks along 5th street in West Des Moines will close for Valley Junction’s first-ever RAGBRAI street party. Migliero says, “On one day it’s going to be quite a special event. We’re excited.”
Aside from a few blocks of shops along valley junction officials say there are only two other areas drivers should really avoid: Railroad Avenue between 1st and 8th street… and if you’re heading north on I-35 to east bound grand avenue, you can expect a detour.
Not knowing how many bikers to plan for can be stressful. But if drivers in Des Moines plan accordingly, organizers say it should be a smooth ride for everyone.
Officials say most roads on the route will be open for cars, but it’s incredibly important drivers keep their eyes open for bikers on the road.