RAGBRAI, the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, commemorated its 50th year by returning to its birthplace in Des Moines. Despite the intense heat, tens of thousands of cyclists courageously participated in this historic ride.
The journey commenced bright and early, as riders embarked on a 55-mile trek to Des Moines. Amateur bikers, including Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, joined seasoned riders, relishing in the pleasure of cycling along central Iowa’s spacious and well-paved highways.
The route meandered through numerous towns before reaching its final destination, Des Moines, where riders eagerly posed for photos at the iconic Iowa Capitol. Wednesday night welcomed participants to the campground located at Water Works Park, where a lively concert featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd and other entertainment awaited them.
Surpassing expectations, the event amassed a staggering 60,000 registered riders, with thousands more unregistered cyclists joining in the excitement. The scorching heat, with temperatures reaching 95 degrees and a heat index of 105, presented challenges to the riders. However, Des Moines hospitals reported only a few heat-related illnesses among the participants.
As the week progresses, weather forecasts indicate that the heatwave will persist, with temperatures predicted to reach 99 degrees on Thursday. First-time riders expressed initial concerns about the size of the crowds and crowded roads, but overall, they found ample space and felt that safety measures were being diligently observed.
Local residents demonstrated their unwavering support for the cyclists by providing refreshments and cheering them on along the route. The 50th anniversary of RAGBRAI has been commended as a remarkable milestone and a tremendous achievement.
The ride continues throughout the week, culminating in Davenport on Saturday. Participants look forward to additional unforgettable experiences and the camaraderie that characterizes this iconic event. Stay tuned for more updates on this momentous occasion on Guam News Factor.
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