RAGBRAI Rolling In

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Glenwood, Silver City Hosting Nation's Largest Bicycle Tour

By Joe Foreman, Editor

Ready or not, Glenwood, RAGBRAI weekend is almost here.

    More than 10,000 bicyclists and another 5,000 – 10,000 visitors are expected to converge on the city this weekend for the start of the 39th Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. Most of the riders will arrive Saturday.
    The seven-day, 454-mile trek officially begins at the crack of dawn Sunday morning with riders leaving town from Redbud Ave. near Glenwood Community High School. RAGBRAI XXXIX ends Saturday, July 30, in Davenport.
    Glenwood is serving as the RAGBRAI starting point for a record-tying sixth time, a distinction the city shares with Sioux City. Glenwood previously hosted RAGBRAI in 1980, 1984, 1989, 1992 and 2003.
    “It (RAGBRAI) gives us an opportunity to showcase our city and welcome the riders to our community,” said Linda Washburn, executive director of the Glenwood Area Chamber of Commerce. “It generates tourism. We certainly hope the businesses and non-profits do well from having the event here.
    “RAGBRAI also gives us an opportunity to build a community together.  There’s no better way to do that then to come together and work together on a committee.”
    Washburn said she expects the Glenwood RAGBRAI experience to be enjoyable for riders because of the efforts of the dozens of volunteers who have stepped up to plan the event. Washburn said she’s received positive feedback about Glenwood’s preparations from RAGBRAI director T.J. Juskiewicz and other RAGBRAI officials.
    Hosting RAGBRAI doesn’t come without some inconvenience. With fields at the Glenwood Sports Complex serving as the primary tent camping area for RAGBRAI guests and Town Square being the focal point for entertainment and food vendors, Glenwood Police Chief Eric Johansen said the following street closures are planned near the downtown business district:
Friday, July 22 at 5 p.m.
 Until Sunday morning
    * Walnut Street, from Second Street south to Sharp Street;
    * First Street, from Locust Street east to Vine Street;
    * Vine Street, from Second Street south to Sharp Street;
    * Sharp Street, from Locust Street east to Vine Street will be closed to “through traffic.”
Saturday, July 23 at 8 a.m.
    * Traffic officers will be posted at the intersections of Redbud and Sharp Street, Redbud and Marion, and Redbud and Oak Street;
Sunday, July 24 at 6 a.m.
    * Officers will be posted at the intersection of Redbud and Sharp Street to assist with traffic as the riders leave.
     The official route into Glenwood for registered RAGBRAI riders will be from the east on Ingrum.  A checkpoint at Kidd Road will route non-registered vehicles southbound back to Highway 34 to reduce the backup of vehicles on Ingrum. Non-registered RAGBRAI vehicles will be able to enter Glenwood from Locust Street on the south and north and Sharp Street from the west.
    After leaving Glenwood Sunday morning, riders will head north on 245th Street, east on Gaston and then north again on Highway 242 until they reach Silver City.
    Silver City is a “pass-through” town for only the second time in RAGBRAI’s 39-year history.