PRIMGHAR, Iowa -- RAGBRAI 2017 set out from Orange City on Sunday morning under clear blue skies with pleasant temperatures.
“I'm from Cedar Rapids, this is my fourth RAGBRAI,” said Bob Schell. “Half the problem is getting here, you got to go to the end to get to the beginning.”
RAGBRAI got a great sendoff from Dutch costume-clad residents of the northwest Iowa city.
Also taking place on Sunday was a Mile of Silence, to remember those who have been killed or injured in bicycle accidents.
"It’s something we need to talk about all the time,” said Trooper Vince Kurtz of the State Patrol’s Spencer Office. “The Mile of Silence coming up here is in memory of those that have been killed in bicycle crashes, and we want to make sure that people are aware of that.”
RAGBRAI has all kinds of people-powered vehicles to travel on. James McGinley hails from the New York City area. He brought his solar-assisted bike, with a solar-powered RV trailing behind. McGinley considers himself an activist for solar and wind power.
“The economy is in flames, democracy's in flames, the planet is being destroyed,” said McGinley. Referencing himself, he said, "You're not going to sit in a comfortable apartment, get your butt out in the country and see what you can do to wake people up.”
RAGBRAI heads to Algona on Monday.