Scott Levine/Clinton Herald

This Herald file photo from 2012 shows Bob Plagman, of Harlan, lifting his bike after finishing RAGBRAI in Clinton.

CLINTON — City officials are hard at work trying to draw RAGBRAI to the Gateway area once again.

Clinton Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Mary Seely and her staff recently have been putting together their pitch to host the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa in 2018, as well as 2022 which would be the 50th edition of the Iowa summer staple.

Seely and the bureau received city council approval for the bids earlier in the week, and now it’s all about showing why the city of Clinton deserves to host the event before the applications’ Sept. 15 deadline.

“We just really have to prove that our community is able to host the thousands of people, both riders and other visitors, that are involved with RAGRBRAI,” Seely said. “We’ve definitely been busy not just with our own work but collaborating with our police and fire department to show that Clinton would definitely be able to take on something like that.”

Seely said it would be sometime in November or December when successful host cities are notified of their selection, though the announcements would not be publicly made until Jan. 27.

Though not an overnight destination, Clinton hosted the ride as the final stop in 2012, with riders completing the trek across the Hawkeye State as they dipped their tires in the Mississippi River. If the CVB’s efforts leading up to the application deadline are successful, the spectacle of thousands of cyclists swarming to the city’s riverfront could soon return.

“The old saying ‘Nothing breeds success like success’ definitely is true in our case,” Seely said. “Our community has hosted RAGBRAI before, and it was a huge success. Obviously now, our job is to hopefully prove that Clinton can do it again.”

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