Up to 20,000 cyclists expected as famed bike marathon ride returns to where it all started 28 years ago.
RAGBRAI, the great bicycle marathon across Iowa, will return to its roots by making Storm Lake its first overnight host in the XXIV event, flooding the lakefront with up to 20,000 riders and perhaps 30,000 people total.
The very first RAGBRAI, in 1973, tapped Storm Lake as its first host city. That year, what would become the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa was referred to simply as "the great six-day bike ride."
Storm Lake is among the most visited of RAGBRAI cities, as the ride came to Storm Lake in 1978 to retrace the early part of the route of the original ride, and the XV ride in 1987 was hosted again in Storm Lake. That ride is remembered for a lost 18-month-old child in Worth County who was found when waves of riders left their bikes to volunteer to search the cornfields.
The Storm Lake Chamber of Commerce is responsible for landing the ride for a fourth time. In November, the chamber sent a letter to RAGBRAI officials offering to serve as a host city for the 2001 ride.
Read the rest of this article in the 2/03 Pilot Tribune.