Sat, Jun 2, 2012 | by TJ JuskiewiczShare
The Route Inspection Pre-Ride Team arrived in Sioux Center this afternoon preparing for their seven-day journey across the state. Jim Green, Dan McKay, Wes Hall and I will ride the entire RAGBRAI route 50 days in advance of the event. Green, the retired RAGBRAI director, and McKay, the State RIDE RIGHT Chairman, were appointed in 2005 to head up the Route Inspection Ride. This year’s ride will encompass 471 miles across the state, from Sioux Center to Clinton.
We plan to spend an entire week inspecting the route and meeting with the local RIDE RIGHT Committees, informing them what to do with the information gleaned from the inspection ride. They also will be looking at traffic patterns since they will be riding the route on the same day of the week that RAGBRAI will ride on later this summer.
A big thanks to Rich Ketcham of Geobike for devising the high-tech GPS tracking system for the pre-ride. Rich will also be joining the Route Inspection Riders for the week of riding. Also joining us again this year is Mark Wyatt, Executive Director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, and his wife Jen. We will have several others join us for a few days of riding including Randy Hecht, who works with Care Ambulance and is a member of Team Daryll from Iowa City. Also riding for his first time with the pre-ride team is Joe Nydegger from Bolan, Iowa. Joe is one of our sag drivers on RAGBRAI, also known as R-7, and is celebrating his birthday.
Last, but not least, thanks to Judy Green for provided the necessary support and encouragement to help the team out!
The team met Saturday evening with the local Sioux Center RIDE RIGHT Committee to discuss Sunday’s pre-ride and safety concerns in their community. For the past several years, the Ride Inspection Team has been joined daily on their trek by the local committee members as well as local bike club members and bike shop owners that are willing to help. The Sioux Center Committee is expecting a few cyclists to join the group riding to Cherokee in the morning.
Sioux Center will serve as the first overnight community on RAGBRAI XL and the community is busy getting ready for the event. Sioux Center has hosted RAGBRAI three other times and this year is shaping up to be a great start for RAGBRAI XL.
Many of the events will take place near the All Seasons Center (which is located on Seventh Street NE). The attractions in that vicinity will include the information booth, the RAGBRAI Expo, the beverage garden, food vendors and entertainment. Several Sioux Center campgrounds are located close to the All Seasons Center and Dordt College and its dormitories are located in close proximity to the All Seasons Center as well.
Entertainment at Sioux Center on July 21 includes the bands Highway 124 from Russellville, Ark., performing from 6-8:30 p.m., and Dirty Word from Minneapolis, playing from 9-10 and 10:30-midnight at the beverage garden. The beverage garden will be open from noon to Midnight.
A fireworks display is being planned on Saturday night as well. The Sioux Center Fire Department is hosting the display, which will take place at 10 p.m. at the Sioux County Fairgrounds, northeast of the All Seasons Center.
Sioux Center also is planning worship services on Saturday, July 21. Catholic Mass will take place 5:30 p.m. and a Protestant/Inter-denominational service is planned for 7 p.m. Both services will be at the B.J. Haan Auditorium on the Dordt College campus.
Sioux Center’s theme for RAGBRAI 2012 is “It’s Downhill from Here.” The community is eager for the RAGBRAI visitors.
Now in its 14th Year, the RAGBRAI Expo has grown from its humble beginnings to being the largest bicycle expo in the Midwest. Hosted by Sioux Center at their All Season Center on Saturday, July 21 from noon – 9 pm, the Expo, at its essence, provides an opportunity for last minute repairs and equipment purchases before the pilgrimage across Iowa. However, the RAGBRAI Expo is so much more. Anchored by our 10 official bike shops and the RAGBRAI Information and Merchandise trailers, the Expo provides a menagerie of bicycle industry and health related exhibitors.
The 2012 edition of the RAGBRAI Expo will feature an expanded line-up of travelling exhibitors. These bicycle and bicycle component/accessory manufactures will give registered riders the opportunity to test their products throughout the week. 2012 travelling exhibitors include: Selle An-Atomica, Trek, Specialized, Giant, Felt, Bianchi, Transitions Adaptive Sunwear, and Trail-a-Dog (debuting their product at the Expo). Be sure to arrive early as demo reservations fill up quickly.
If you need it for RAGBRAI, or if you just want it for RAGBRAI, you’ll find it at the RAGBRAI Expo. And remember, money may not buy happiness, but it can buy new and fun cycling gear. What else is there?
See you in Sioux Center!
Route Inspection Pre-Ride Schedule
For those that want to ride for a day and help with the inspection, a schedule is listed below. You have to provide your own transportation back to the starting location and battle Dan and Joe when there is only two slices of pie left at the diner!
RAGBRAI XL Route Inspection Pre-Ride – June 3-9, 2012
Sunday, June 3
Ride from Sioux Center to Cherokee
Orange City, Alton, Granville & Marcus
Mileage: 54.4 Miles
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: All Seasons Center (770 7th Street)
Monday, June 4
Ride from Cherokee to Lake View
Aurelia, Hanover, Schaller, Nemaha & Sac City
Mileage: 62.0 Miles
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: Letsche’s Bike Shop (215 West Main)
Tuesday, June 5
Ride from Lake View to Webster City
Auburn, Lake City, Lohrville, Farnhamville, Gowrie, Harcourt, Dayton
Stratford (Karras Loop) & Lehigh
Mileage: 81.2 Miles
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: West Stone Pier (Lake & 3rd Street)
Wednesday, June 6
Ride from Webster City to Marshalltown
Kamrar, Jewell, Ellsworth, Story City, Roland, McCallsburg, Zearing
Saint Anthony & Clemons
Mileage: 77.1 Miles
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: West Twin Park (1101 Superior Street)
Thursday, June 7
Ride from Marshalltown to Cedar Rapids
Garwin, Clutier, Garrison, Vinton, Shellsburg, Palo Community Center & Covington
Mileage: 84.8 Miles
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: Riverview Park (402 Woodland )
Friday, June 8
Ride from Cedar Rapids to Anamosa
Czech Village/New Bohemia, Mount Vernon, Springville, Viola & Fairview
Mileage: 42.2 Miles
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: Ellis Park Pool Lots (2000 Ellis Blvd)
Saturday, June 9
Ride from Anamosa to Clinton
Hale, Oxford Junction, Lost Nation (Meeting), Elwood, Delmar, Charlotte & Goose Lake
Mileage: 69.4 Miles
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: National Motorcycle Museum (102 Chamber Dr)
Be sure to tune in each day for the daily updates and photos from the route inspection ride on the RAGBRAI web site and FACEBOOK. You can also follow the pre-ride adventure and learn interesting tidbits about the route by following me on TWITTER by following @TJRAGBRAI.
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