By Nick Pedley
News Editor 

See ya never, northwest Iowa

Iowa's Ride not coming anymore

 

April 1, 2021

A new bike ride slated to traverse the entire state will be much shorter.

Officials with Iowa's Ride announced Tuesday the event will be held over one weekend July 16-18 in Eldora. Previously, the ride was supposed to take place July 18-24 starting in Dubuque and ending in Rock Rapids. Emmetsburg and Sheldon were named overnight towns on the original route.

According to a release from Iowa's Ride, officials wouldn't have been able to adequately accommodate riders and adhere to COVID-19 distancing guidelines.

"We had several of our small community schools or city facilities that were still not comfortable opening their facilities needed for overnight camping throughout this upcoming summer," stated the release. "Since we were mainly in smaller communities there were not many suitable options to safely camp other than school grounds or city parks. Although we were able to secure some alternative locations, we ultimately decided to modify the event to a weekend event based out of Eldora."

Questions about the ride's viability were raised this winter. It was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic, and officials in overnight towns and pass-through communities received little communication from event coordinators about what it would look like this year.

Sheldon withdrew from being an overnight town last month. Prior to Tuesday's announcement, Ayrshire, Gillett Grove, Greenville, Rossie, Royal, Primghar and Archer were slated to be pass-through towns.

Iowa's Ride was created by TJ Juskiewicz to compete with RAGBRAI. The Ankeny man was the event's coordinator for 16 years before resigning in October 2019 due to differences with Gannett, which owns RAGBRAI's organizing sponsor the Des Moines Register.

RAGBRAI is still slated to take place July 24-31. According to Iowa's Ride, the July weekend event in Eldora will have a designated 40-50 mile route on Saturday and several riding options on Friday and Sunday.

 
 

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