RAGBRAI XLIV Countdown – July 24-30, 2016
Friends of RAGBRAI

Ride Right

RIDE RIGHT Community of the Year Award: Council Bluffs

The RIDE RIGHT Community Award is presented each year to the town that best promoted safety events and improved the safety level for riders in their community during RAGBRAI. Council Bluffs really went all out for visiting cyclists in an effort to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

One of the big attractions in Council Bluffs is the new Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge that spans the Missouri River to Omaha, Nebraska.  In keeping with RAGBRAI tradition, the committee wanted riders to have the opportunity to ride the bridge and also safely dip their tires in the Missouri River waters.  “We wanted to provide a unique and safe experience for riders to ride the new Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge,” said Larry Foster, Parks and Recreation Director for Council Bluffs and RAGBRAI Executive Committee member.  Foster came up with the idea of bringing the water to the bridge instead of having the riders attempt to dip their tires in the waters of the Missouri River.  Most of the nearby river banking was extremely steep and dangerous, so a plan was devised by Foster to pump river water up to the bridge. 

“It came down to just days before RAGBRAI of figuring out the right pump that would work for this project,” claims Foster.  The bridge engineering firm, HNTB, was charged with the role of devising a way to pump the river water to the bridge.  “I think it turned out just great!” added Foster.

Police Chief Ralph O’Donnell was a bit concerned when RAGBRAI was first announced to start in Council Bluffs.  The chief called on Capt. Scott Milner, Lt. Dan Flores, Sgt. Chad Meyers and Officer Darren Budd to dive into the planning process for RAGBRAI.   Sgt. Meyers and Officer Budd put together an action plan that addressed all the safety concerns.  Lt. Dan Flores added invaluable insight as an experienced cyclist who had ridden many RAGBRAIs.  They also lined up help from several law enforcement agencies such as the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Iowa State Patrol, Iowa Department of Transportation, Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office and Pottawattamie County 911 Center.

Lynn Rollins headed up the Council Bluffs RIDE RIGHT Committee, but he credits the local bicycle clubs and cyclists for the success.  “We did several training rides on the actual route from Council Bluffs to Red Oak to have cyclists ride the roads and report on them,” said Rollins.  The Bellevue Bike Club, Omaha Pedalers and area cyclists heard about the training rides on Facebook.  In early June, the statewide RIDE RIGHT committee held its official inspection ride that was joined by over 30 area cyclists.  “I give the Law Enforcement Committee a lot of credit for really taking the time on picking the safest route out of town,” adds Rollins.  He claims much debate was had on selecting the safest possible route.

“We are very proud of the efforts of our RIDE RIGHT Committee.  They worked very hard to ensure safety as their first priority,” said Council Bluffs Executive Committee member Tricia LeSieur. “Our Law Enforcement Committee worked for months as well to cover every detail – again, to ensure safety first!”

The RIDE RIGHT video showing is a staple of starting town.  Charlie Schilling, Director of the Mid-America Center, wanted to make sure the riders would be comfortable during the educational session.  Schilling offered the use of the arena and the jumbo screen to show the RIDE RIGHT video on as well as the driver’s safety meeting.  So many riders remarked about the wonderful way to host the safety sessions in the arena.

Congratulations to Council Bluffs on making RAGBRAI as safe as it can be!

7 Responses on “RIDE RIGHT Community of the Year Award: Council Bluffs


August 27, 2009 at 5:37 pm

My experience in Council Bluffs was indeed First Class. The route out at 6:45 Sunday morning was pure pleasure. My hat is off the the residents of the city and surrounding area.

Terry Whaley

August 28, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Great set up for the kick off of RAGBRAI. Love the bridge…talked to a few of your locals—great folks. Best RAGBRAI send off I can recall. This was my 10th.

Council Bluffs on the short list for living in someday.

Hats off to all and thanks for a great visit.


Glenn Pollock

September 3, 2009 at 4:41 pm

They did a exceptional job at recycling the trash generated by RAGBRAI. Thanks to Keep Council Bluffs Beautiful and the C.B. Solid Waste Management Division. Next years over night stops should do as well.

book cheap flight

March 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is excellent blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.| book cheap flight http://www.funtraveldeals.com/book-flights/

agate cameos bangle

March 22, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Hi there to every body, it’s my first pay a visit of this blog; this blog consists of amazing and actually good material for readers.| agate cameos bangle http://www.goldmemoriesforever.com

fotograf de nunta

March 23, 2013 at 3:21 am

I was recommended this website by my cousin. I’m not certain whether this put up is written by him as nobody else realize such certain approximately my trouble. You are amazing! Thank you!| fotograf de nunta http://madvideo.ro/fotograf-de-nunta/


March 24, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Many thanks for penning this high-quality submit..Cherished your posts. Be sure to do sustain writing Alternatives to Google search engine http://asdasghdsdfs5hf.co

Leave a Reply

Latest Blog Posts

  • RAGBRAI Registration for 2016 Is Open!

    Been thinking about great Iowa hospitality and all that RAGBRAI has to offer? Relax! Registration is now open for RAGBRAI XLIV!! If you’ve registered before, take note: the username and password ...

  • Coming Soon - New Online RAGBRAI Registration System

    To meet higher security demands brought about because of internet fraud, we found it necessary to upgrade our online registration system. We took this opportunity to incorporate some changes that ...

  • RAGBRAI XLIV Logo - Revealed!

    We've had hogs, corn, and tractors. We've ridden mile upon mile and ventured all across the state of Iowa. And now it's finally time to relax, and enjoy all of ...

  • RAGBRAI XLIII Survey Results

    A big Thank You to all the riders, support personnel, and volunteers who made RAGBRAI XLIII such a huge success.  We had 4735 respond to our online surveys providing a ...

  • My RAGBRAI Story: An Inspirational Tale from a First Time RAGBRAIer

    RAGBRAI XLIII was the culmination of a process that brought me from the edge of personal disaster to the brink of a new life. Just nineteen months ago I ...

  • RAGBRAI Training: Reflections on RAGBRAI from a Training Perspective

    RAGBRAI is over for another year. Congratulations on riding more than 400 miles in one week (or however many miles you rode). Not many people ever ride their ...

  • Congratulations to Ben Behrends for Winning the RAGBRAI Kid's Art Contest

    We would like to congratulate all the young artists throughout Iowa who drew, painted or scultured RAGBRAI masterpieces leading up to RAGBRAI. We hope you saw some of the ...

  • RAGBRAI® XLIII Lost and Found

    Do you recognize anything in this photo?  Several lost items were turned into us throughout the week including cell phones, keys, bike computers, eyewear and more.  All owners of wallets, ...

  • 20 RAGBRAI photos: Blue skies and countrysides

    20 RAGBRAI Photos: Blue Skies and Countrysides

  • 15 RAGBRAI photos: Creative costumes of the ride

    See some of the most outlandish outfits of RAGBRAI 2015.

Latest Videos

  • This year's logo theme is "It's time to take a break."

  • We made a new camel friend, played human foos-ball and did the required slip and sliding. Relive the 2015 RAGBRAI ride with some of our favorite moments. And get ready for the 2016 route announcement party in January.

  • "This is my gift to you guys," said pool owner Bud Henson whose house is right along the RAGBRAI route this year in Moscow, IA.

  • First time RAGBRAI rider experiences Iowa on two wheels.

  • All Ability Cycles gives bicycle rides to residents of the Hiawatha Care Center on Friday, July 24, 2015. The group gives rides to senior residents along the RAGBRAI route.

  • Jabara the camel stole the show in Mount Vernon for RAGBRAI.

  • DM Register scribes scarf more rhubarb cream pie than NPR!

  • Tony Ron, of Fort Dodge, sells jewelry made of recycled bicycle spokes to pay for a flight and visa to Ecuador.

  • Patty Ankrum explains a project in Mount Vernon to take advantages of the thousands of RAGBRAI cyclists passing through.

  • Hundreds of riders flock to Team Google's complimentary charging tent set up in the RAGBRAI meetup town.

Find us socially

Email Signup

Sign up for the latest RAGBRAI news and notes (if there is no news in a day, you won’t get an e-mail).

© 2015 RAGBRAI | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy