The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


March 13, 2012

County towns prepare for RAGBRAI riders

CLINTON — For 40 years, bike enthusiasts from around the world have baptized their tires in the Missouri and the Mississippi rivers to bookend a 450-mile plus trek across Iowa. This year, the 8 to 10,000 participants in the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, or RAGBRAI, will pedal into Clinton on July 28 after a weeklong July ride, and will find the banks of the Mississippi waiting for them.

Several area towns will serve as the backdrop to the final day of RAGBRAI. Near the beginning of the 70-mile journey from Anamosa to Clinton, riders will pass through Oxford Junction. Mayor Merle Tank said that the city has seen RAGBRAI riders come through a few times in the past, and that the “Junction for Opportunities” committee will be working on ways to accommodate the guests.

He said that riders tend to breeze through Oxford Junction on their way to the Mississippi, but he said if any chose to stick around and see the sites, they wouldn’t be disappointed. The old jail and museum are the town’s main attractions, Tank said.

Food services and T-shirts will also likely be available.

“It helps a little bit economically, but they’re going to be going through so fast,” Tank said. “I guess it’s a plus that we get our name on the map.” Riders also will travel to Delmar, a town known locally for its old train depot, which was recently converted into a museum.

The abandoned train depot was given new life after several area volunteers spent years remodeling the crumbling building. Now, the train depot provides a glimpse of life back to the golden age of railroads, and how they helped create the foundation of the town.

Riders will then pass through Charlotte and Goose Lake before arriving in Clinton. Marsha Smith, director of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB), said that serving as the destination city for RAGBRAI will benefit a variety of area residents.

“We are ecstatic about having RAGBRAI ‘dip their tires’ here in Clinton,” Smith said after RAGBRAI overnight cities were announced. “This is just wonderful for our economy in that it will bring people here on the night before the start as well as on the last Saturday. Our hotels will be full, restaurants busy and money being spent in our retail stores.”

A CVB committee will explore ways to promote local attractions like the marina, campground and the LumberKings’ ballpark. She said that safety is also a priority when planning RAGBRAI activities.

This will be Mayor Mark Vulich’s first RAGBRAI as an elected official. He said he is looking forward to the arrival of the bicyclists, and hopes that many of them consider staying a few days.

“We’re hoping people take the time to see the sites and see what our little city has to offer,” Vulich said. “I’m hoping we snag a few for a short period of time.”

Vulich said Clinton will see an influx of visitors before the ride begins as well, as many riders opt to leave a vehicle in the destination city before it begins. By the time riders reach the Mississippi, Vulich said the grueling journey has taken its toll on many who may wish to immediately depart for home.

But if they choose to stay, Vulich said they would have access to city campgrounds, and could take advantage of Clinton restaurants and amenities. He said Clinton has several attractions that could appeal to enthusiasts of outdoor activities, including a disc golf course in Eagle Point Park and access to some of the widest areas of the Mississippi River.

Text Only
  • Riders’ economic impact strong

    Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa riders pumped an estimated $1.3 million into the Clinton area last weekend, according to the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce.

    August 3, 2012

  • Ted and Rita.jpg Schultz: Friendly faces close out trip to Clinton

    As if the city of Clinton already didn't do a great job of welcoming RAGBRAI riders at the end of the 471.1-mile journey Saturday, I got a special treat a few miles before that.

    July 30, 2012 1 Photo

  • RAGBRAI crowd.jpg RAGBRAI rolls to an end

    A week spent biking 471-miles concluded Saturday as thousands of RAGBRAI riders dipped their tires into the Mississippi River.

    July 30, 2012 1 Photo

  • RAGBRAI riders make final stretch to Clinton

    Having survived the heat, hills, and headwinds of the week, Friday was one of those gifts that are given every so often on RAGBRAI.

    July 28, 2012

  • anamosa.jpg Clinton welcomes RAGBRAI

    Today will be a banner day in Clinton, with thousands of bicyclists coming into the city from the northwest as they head to the Ninth Avenue North boat ramp and the end of the week-long Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, commonly known as RAGBRAI.

    July 28, 2012 3 Photos

  • Ted Schultz.jpg RAGBRAI riders trek through longest ride

    The longest day of 2012 RAGBRAI was the longest, but certainly not the toughest.

    July 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • Marina riverfront.jpg Clinton preps for RAGBRAI

    Bikes will abound Saturday as RAGBRAI riders descend upon Clinton to dip their tires in the Mississippi River.

    July 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • 100_1097.jpg RAGBRAI riders push through heat, winds

    After a rugged day on RAGBRAI Tuesday, things got easier for riders the following day — but only by a bit.

    July 26, 2012 2 Photos

  • 100_1066.jpg Headwind becomes issue during RAGBRAI

    If heat was the big story during Monday’s session of RAGBRAI, then another foul “H” word was the top topic on Tuesday’s route from Lake View to Webster City.

    July 25, 2012 1 Photo

  • Two RAGBRAI crashes reported Tuesday

    Two separate crashes involving cyclists in Iowa’s RAGBRAI event happened Tuesday.

    July 24, 2012

RAGBRAI: Saturday in Clinton

Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Front page