City of Storm Lake prepares for RAGBRAI to come through this summer

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STORM LAKE, Iowa (KCAU) – It may not be a great day to hit the road for a bike ride, but a few Siouxland communities are gearing up for thousands of cyclists to come to town during this year’s RAGBRAI.

There’s only 163 days until one of the biggest rides throughout Iowa takes off.

Last month, RAGBRAI announced the official route they will be taking across Iowa.

The 48th annual RAGBRAI ride will be starting in Le Mars and making an overnight stay in Storm Lake, before heading east across Iowa.

Storm Lake is in the early stages of planning the entertainment, security measures, and recruiting volunteers.

It’s an opportunity for the town to show Iowa all it has to offer.

“It’s a fun ride. I’ve gone with a few different people and different teams and stuff like that,” said Riley Godfredson, Lakeshore Cyclery.

Riley Godfredson has rode on RAGBRAI four times, but this year he’s excited that it’s back in his hometown.

“It’s been five years or so since RAGBRAI has come through Storm Lake but we’re super excited to have them come here. We weren’t under the impression that they were,” said Godfredson.

But instead of hitting the blacktop, he’s prepared to roll up his sleeves to help out at his family’s business, Lakeshore Cyclery.

“It’s a lot of minor repairs, tubes, tires stuff like that. But staff wise, we have 15-20 people working around the clock to keep the store going and keep everybody satisfied,” said Riley Godfredson.

The riders are expected to be a boon for local businesses.

“The different restaurants, bars, and different establishments like that have a great opportunity to make some profit off the ride,” said Mike Porsch, Mayor of Storm Lake.

But it’s going to take an army of volunteers to help coordinate the event. He said in 2015, they had more than 700 volunteers help out.

“There were like 740 volunteers that were needed and used in the last RAGBRAI. That’s a lot of people that get involved so we need to start trying to bring people in,” said Porsch.

Some of the planning from city leaders is already underway with some major tasks to complete like finding people to house riders, security for the overnight stay, and entertainment.

“Well have meetings every week some of them will be from the RAGBRAI staff from Des Moines will be in town almost on a weekly basis to help the different committees along. So there’s a lot of committee meetings and a lot of involvement that is going to start taking place,” said Storm Lake Mayor Mike Porsch.

He hopes people will open up their doors to riders. He’s already allowing over 25 into his own home.

Although there is a lot of work that still needs to get done, the community is eager to be apart of the RAGBRAI tradition.

“We’re looking forward to showering everyone a fun time and a great experience when they come through town,” said Porsch.

“It’s big for the community and big for us as a bicycle dealer,” said Riley Godfredson, Lakeshore Cyclery.

RAGBRAI isn’t the only big ride here in Iowa this summer.

Many of those same riders will be taking part in the first annual Iowa Ride and Lakeshore Cyclery’s 25th annual B-4 bike ride.

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