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  • Abby Koch
  • Thu June 09 2022
  • Posted Nov 14

With what seems like a million details to take into consideration, RAGBRAI organizers have to ensure everything runs smoothly.

That includes testing out the route.

A group of cyclists has been conducting the annual route inspection of the 2022 Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa over the past couple of days. Riders rolled into Mason City from Emmetsburg on Wednesday and were treated to a local favorite, Fat Hill Brewing.

"(Mason City) is our biggest community on route, so that always plays a big role. They have big shoes to fill with the last time that we came through," said Matt Phippen, a director of RAGBRAI.

RAGBRAI is officially only weeks away, starting July 24 in Sergeant Bluff. A key part of planning the national attraction is looking over the route and planning for the number of cyclists passing through towns along the way.

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When it was announced that there would be a 100-mile day, some people began to worry, according to Phippen. Both Phippen and Scott Sumpter, founder of bikeiowa.com, said it is fairly flat ride with only couple of climbs.

"A hundred miles is a long ways for a lot of people. Today you had some tailwind and you had some side wind. But we had good stops," said Sumpter. "There's plenty of places for people to stop. My thing is to break it into 10- to 15-mile increments. You got all day to ride your bike."

For those who will tackle Century Day, hydration and getting enough to eat are Sumpter's tip to newbies. Riders can mix getting food and water if they break the ride into increments.

"I think it's going to be a lot of people's first centuries. It's a milestone," said Sumpter. "I think that day is going to go pretty quick for them, and it's a notch in their belt for getting 100 miles."



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