RAGBRAI XLIII is set to kick off July 19 and many Iowa-area cyclists are already preparing. The route of the yearly bicycle tour was announced earlier this week, and to celebrate, this Saturday the Quad Cities Bicycle Club is hosting RAGBRAI for Rookies, a free event for those wanting to learn about the week-long bike ride. The workshop will take place on Saturday, Jan. 31 from 1 – 4 p.m. at the Davenport Public Library (3000 N. Fairmount St.)
The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) is an annual summer bicycle tour that draws people from across the globe and crosses the entire state, beginning at the Missouri River and ending at the Mississippi. Ken Urban, a RAGBRAI for Rookies coordinator, says that Saturday’s event will be a great way for beginner cyclists to become better prepared for this summer’s ride.
“RAGBRAI is an Iowa tradition that many cyclists have on their bucket list,” said Urban. “People are unsure of how to register, train and plan for a ride. We try to give an overview that helps riders understand logistics involved and tips on how to make the week enjoyable.”
Urban warns cyclists that RAGBRAI is different than other rides — it is long and can be dangerous if certain precautions aren’t taken.
“Even if you have participated in organized rides in the past, RAGBRAI is so much larger than any other cycling tour,” said Urban. “Follow the safety training that is promoted. The roads can be very congested at times. It is not a race, take your time and enjoy stopping in the towns along the way.”
This year’s RAGBRAI begins on July 19 in Sioux City, makes a stop at the Iowa River Landing in Coralville and ends on July 25 in Davenport.
“The tour ending in Davenport is a great opportunity to host people from all over the country and world,” Urban said. “The river and bridges are a beautiful ending after a week of riding. The destination gives easy access to the interstate system and airport.”
This is the sixth year QCBC has hosted RAGBRAI for Rookies. Along with tips concerning safety and preparation, the center is holding an open house that will offer individualized coaching from RAGBRAI veterans.