Rock Valley selected to host RAGBRAI this July

Posted February 5, 2014 at 9:47 pm


Nicole Crosbie | Editor,

The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI), an annual seven-day bicycle ride across the state, announced that Rock Valley will be the starting point for the event.

“We are very excited,” mayor Kevin Van Otterloo said. “We were in Des Moines for the announcement and no one knows who the overnight locations are until they announce it — it’s a total surprise.”

Other host locations where bicyclists will spend the night include Okoboji/Iowa Great Lakes, Emmetsburg, Forest City, Mason City, Waverly, Independence and Guttenberg. The ride begins on July 19 and a total of 418 miles will be biked over the seven-day ride.

“This is the sixth year we’ve applied (to be a RAGBRAI host location),” Van Otterloo said. “We wanted to showcase Rock Valley. We’re pretty proud of Rock Valley and we’re really proud of the people. We wanted to show that off to the rest of the state and the world.”

RAGBRAI, now in its 42nd year, is the oldest, largest and longest bike-touring event in the world.

“We have a lot of work to do in a short time,” Van Otterloo said. “We’re expecting 25,000 people here on Saturday night. It’s going to take a lot of planning, but there are towns all over that will help. This is Iowa, everybody helps everyone.”