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Friday, May 6, 2016

Iowa's most famous ride detours to the Iowa Great Lakes

Monday, February 14, 2005

RAGBRAI, the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, has requested to pass through Milford on its trip across Iowa. The ride route, which was released last weekend, is scheduled to run from Sheldon to Estherville on Monday, July 25.

City officials in Milford received a request last Thursday to "pass through" the community.

Bryan Read, Milford City Administrator, says an official response from the city is requested by February 14.

A public meeting was held Thursday night to discuss the interest level in the riders coming through and to seek volunteers for food stands, beverage stands, and xactivities to host for the riders.

The bulk of riders will likely travel through Milford between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on July 25. Events must close down by 4 p.m. that day to ensure riders enough time to get to Estherville for the evening.

Chad Simington, president of Milford Commercial Club, is one Milford resident already getting excited about the RAGBRAI event.

"I think RAGBRAI is an utterly unique snap shot of Americana. There isn't a bike ride or experience like it anywhere else in the world," Simington said. "One of the reasons that it's so successful is because of the small towns in Iowa, just like Milford, and our secondary road system."

University of Okoboji confounder Herman Richter remembers previous RAGBRAI events in Milford and the planning that goes into hosting the bike ride.

"It's a happening," he said. "It's really always pretty exciting and a lot of fun. There are people from all over the U.S. and from different countries."

Richter sees the bike ride pass through as more than just a Milford event.

"It's quite an undertaking for the community and the area," said Richter. "One of the reasons Milford is chosen is because of its proximity to the Iowa Great Lakes and the campus of University of Okoboji... A lot of the riders, being this close, are going to want to ride up to the Lakes. It's quite an economic impact on our Lakes area."

Richter said that many volunteers from throughout the area will be needed to make the pass through possible.

"I'm excited, but we have to figure out how to work this out. We're going to need some help," Richter said.

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