Article by: Jason Passmore
RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa), the largest bike ride in the world, stayed overnight in Cresco, July 27th after stopping in Protivin. The work by CEDA team members serving Howard County Business & Tourism was instrumental in working with the event that brings riders in from every U.S. state and over 30 countries. With 187 planning days, 21 committees with 110 members, and even more volunteers, Cresco put on a show that delighted riders of all ages.
VIPs; Lance Armstrong (bicyclist), Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR), Matt Kenseth (NASCAR), and Matt Dungey (Motocross/Supercross) not only stayed overnight in Cresco, but visited with riders, fans, and residents. Lance Armstrong even played the drums during the evening’s entertainment!
Riding isn’t the only activity on RAGBRAI. Variety-The Children’s Charity gave away 40 bikes, helmets, and locks to some lucky children in Cresco. The Chicago Urban Bicycling Society held an auction in Cresco raising over $7,000 for Camp Courageous in Iowa. Over 400 riders took the shuttle in Protivin to visit the Norman Borlaug Boyhood Farm. Over 500 riders “showered with a pig” at the Ag Education Center and got to hold baby pigs and learn about this unique bio-secure facility.
The economic impact of one day of RAGBRAI is substantial. On the local level, restaurants, food vendors, non-profits, churches and retailers had a great day in Cresco and Protivin.