Iowa’s Ride canceled, organizers expect to ‘lose money due to COVID-19’

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Iowa’s Ride announced on Tuesday that, due to COVID-19, it is canceling its inaugural cross-state cycling event scheduled for the week of July 12.

“With Governor Reynolds closing all Iowa schools for the year (several were planned to be used for campgrounds) and recommendations to not continue the ride from the various law enforcement agencies, emergency managers, city managers and mayors, county supervisors, local hospital officials and other safety agencies that have been involved with the planning of Iowa’s Ride, we knew the ride could not continue as planned,” Iowa’s Ride Director TJ Juskiewicz said in a statement posted on its site.

Because this was the event’s first year, the cancellation will cause considerable hardship for Iowa’s Ride, Juskiewicz said.

Unfortunately, we have already put six months of time and resources into setting up the event and were prepared to host a great event. Most of these resources cannot be recouped. Needed corporate sponsorship dollars will also not be received by not hosting the event. Iowa’s Ride was planned to give all proceeds to the charities in our host towns and bring a needed economic boost to these small-town businesses. Sadly, by not hosting this summer’s event, there will be no proceeds to give to these charities as honestly the event will lose money due to COVID-19. I also do not want to give false hope or promises that we would just be able to roll your registration over to a future ride, like many long-time established events, when there is so much uncertainty in the world. We are trying to do the right thing during unimaginable times.

Iowa’s Ride will refund 75 percent of a rider’s registration fee. “Fees for ticketing and processing may not be refunded,” according to the site. The deadline to apply for a refund is May 15.

Iowa’s Ride was founded in October by longtime members of the staff of RAGBRAI, the state’s long-established cycling event, after they quit due to disagreements with management at Gannett, the parent company of the Des Moines Register.

Juskiewicz did not mention any plans for next year in his statement.

On April 20, RAGBRAI announced it was canceling its ride this summer, but plans to resume the cross-state cycling event next year. This will be the first year since 1973 without a RAGBRAI.

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