50th RAGBRAI to end in Davenport
DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - This year’s RAGBRAI route will start in Sioux City on July 23 taking riders through 500 miles of Iowa and climbing a total of more than 16,500 feet in elevation.
When the week is over on July 29 cyclists will dip their tires in the Mississippi Davenport. It marks the sixth time the annual ride has ended in the city since its inception in 1973.
RAGBRAI Charter Director for the Quad Cities Bicycle Club, Dixon Novy, is getting ready to ride his 21st RAGBRAI
He’s excited to see who turns out on the tour this year.
“The Iowa hospitality is got to be the best thing about RAGBRAI,” Novy said. “It’s people from coast to coast, and it’s new friends every year. You have old friends that come back ... The camaraderie with all the different riders you’ll be riding along in the country stretch, country road and you’re talking to the cyclists beside you, and start up a conversation with him.”
It’s not just cyclists pumped for the ride’s golden anniversary. President and CEO of Visit Quad Cities, Dave Harrell, along with other area officials attended Saturday’s announcement party in Des Moines.
They’re hoping the event gives the region a boost in visibility.
“We’ve got over 120 miles of trails within our system,” Harrell said. “We love the cycling community and whatever we can do to elevate that profile because outdoors is so critical to how we frame our destination.
The last stop coincides with BIX 7 weekend, meaning thousands will pass through the QC.
“This could be potential visitors,” Harrell said. “They could be potential folks that are thinking about taking a job or maybe making a strategic investment in your community from a business perspective.”
Novy said anywhere from 300 to 400 QCBC members will participate this year. He expects it to be the biggest ride yet.
“[It’s an] unbelievable experience,” Novy said. “I learned more on RAGBRAI about the different cities and communities in Iowa than I ever did in Iowa history [class] back 50 some years ago,”
Registration for the 50th RAGBRAI is now open.
QCBC is hosting a RAGBRAI for Rookies seminar on March 4, at the Eastern Avenue Branch of the Davenport Public Library. It runs from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. The clinic is free and open to anyone who may be looking for training or maintenance tips before taking the journey this summer.
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