RAGBRAI


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RAGBRAI

Last full week in July
A bicycle ride (not race) across the state of Iowa, Ragbrai is billed as the oldest, longest, and largest bicycle-touring event in the nation and possibly the world. The sponsor from the start has been the Des Moines Register, and RAGBRAI stands for Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa . The field is limited to 8,500, and participants are chosen through a drawing.
The ride began in 1973 when Don Kaul, a Register columnist who worked out of Washington, D.C., was challenged by another columnist, John Karras, to bicycle across the state to learn about Iowa. The challenge was accepted, and both decided to ride. Karras wrote an article telling about the plan and inviting readers to go along: at the start of the race, there were 300 riders, and 115 rode the distance. One of these was 83-year-old Clarence Pickard, who rode a woman's bike from border to border.
The ride was intended as a one-time event, but interest was such that it continued the next year, and the next, when it got the RAGBRAI name. The route is different each year but always runs from west to east. Distances average 471 miles; the longest was the 540 miles of RAGBRAI XIII in 1985. According to tradition, riders dip their rear tires in the Missouri River at the start of the tour and seven days later dip their front tires in the Mississippi River when they finish. Multi-day touring rides have been organized in other states since RAGBRAI started.
CONTACTS:
RAGBRAI
715 Locust St.
P.O. Box 622
Des Moines, IA 50303
800-474-3342 or 515-284-8282; fax: 515-284-8138
www.ragbrai.org
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 127
References in periodicals archive ?
Over 500 users were certified in the program in towns along the RAGBRAI route in the months leading up to the event this year.
Fretting over his reception at Ragbrai is the least of Armstrong's worries right now.
I haven't done the RAGBRAI yet, but might yet do it before I cash in my chips.
Verizon is the official wireless provider for RAGBRAI, one of the longest, largest and oldest touring bicycle rides in the world.
"Although RAGBRAI had stopped in Algona in 1977 and 1999, this was my first time," said Schaeffer.
Not only did the communities support the Air Force, but they pulled out all the stops for the RAGBRAI participants, keeping everyone entertained throughout the 55-town trip, Colonel Lohman said.
Hutzel learned of the RAGBRAI through his wife, a native of Onawa, Iowa, where this year's ride began.
As its name suggests, RAGBRAI (rhymes with horse fly) is sponsored by the Des Moines Register, self-styled as "The newspaper Iowa depends upon." The RAGBRAI route changes every year, but it always begins on the state's western border, near the Missouri River, and ends on the other side at the Mississippi.
Verizon Wireless have announced plans to provide additional mobile and wireless coverage at four cities on the route of the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI).
The arrival of the team into the last town on the route has become a RAGBRAI tradition, with members forming a two-column formation led by three-wheelers bearing the U.S.
"This was my first RAGBRAI, and I wanted to show my three teen-age daughters their dad wasn't as old as they think he is," said Master Sgt.
Portable cell sites are to be deployed at three cities along the route for this year's Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI), by US wireless voice and data network Verizon Wireless (Verizon) and joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE:VOD) (LSE:VOD).