Has it been six years already?
RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) last came to Mills County in 2003, but the nation’s largest crossstate bicycle extravaganza appears to headed back this summer.
The detailed route won’t be officially released until next month in the Des Moines Register, but officials from the city of Emerson, city of Henderson and the Mills County Engineer’s Office have all confirmed being contacted by RAGBRAI officials over the past month to discuss the proposed route for the first day of the ride on Sunday, July 19. RAGBRAI will begin in Council Bluffs that morning and make its first overnight stop in Red Oak.
“Yes, I did get contacted by the RAGBRAI committee,” Mills County Engineer Kevin Mayberry said. “I have no problem with it (coming through Mills County). I think it’s a pretty nice event for the state and we’ll cooperate in any way that we can.”
The most logical route would appear to have the ride making its way through northern Mills County into Henderson before heading south to Emerson. From Emerson, it’s a straight shot east on “Old Highway 34” into Red Oak.
Emerson City Clerk Michelle Faxon said there’s already a buzz in the air about RAGBRAI returning to the community. RAGBRAI last made an appearance in both Emerson and Henderson in 2003. That year, the ride started in Glenwood and made its first overnight stop in Shenandoah.
“For us, it will be enormous,” said Faxon.
Faxon said the city of Emerson was asked to return a letter to RAGBRAI officials that indicated the city’s willingness to serve as a pass-through town.
“We said, yes, we’ll agree,” she said.
Faxon said Emerson residents are already planning organizational meetings to develop a gameplan for the ride’s return to the community.
Henderson City Clerk Bonnie Frink said her city council discussed RAGBRAI at its regular meeting on Monday of this week before sending its acceptance letter to Des Moines.
“They decided they want to have it,” Frink said.
Pass-through towns are required to submit their acceptance letters to RAGBRAI by the end of this week.