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2009 RAGBRAI

Sandyville gets a stoplight

Sandyville, Ia. — Rusting, broken-down cars and trucks that line the main drag through this town of 60 might outnumber the vehicles that still run and drive, but today Sandyville got its first stoplight.

And a fire bell.

“Wake up out there! Wake up! You’re in IOWA!” shouted John Martindale, an Indianola resident who affixed the light and bell to his beer tent for today’s RAGBRAI ride.

Sandyville stoplight

It was the second pass-through town for riders today, and plenty stopped for one of Martindale’s cold brews.

“I’m just here to have fun,” Martindale said. “This is the first time I’ve ever seen RAGBRAI.”

Down the steet, Sandyville Mayor Scott Benge was greeting people with a greasy handshake and kept the peace with his “security wagon,” a vehicle he cobbled together from an old riding lawn mower and a 360cc Honda motor.

He fired up the unmuffled motor to cheers from passersby.

“This town has really come along,” Benge, 49, said. “I was born and raised here. I guess no one else wanted the job (as mayor). It used to be a lot worse here.”

Sandyville Mayor Scott Benge on his "security wagon"

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