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RAGBRAI bikes through Iowa City

BY CHRIS HIGGINS AND NICHOLAS MOFFITT | MARCH 09, 2015 5:00 AM

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RAGBRAI riders will take a new route through Iowa City this July after an overnight stay in Coralville.  

According to the full route release Sunday, the annual ride across Iowa will cut directly through Iowa City, coming through after the final overnight stay of the week is hosted at Iowa River Landing in Coralville.

Laurie Haman, the vice president of the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that for the first time she can remember, the route will take riders directly through downtown.

“In past routes they have skirted outside of town, so that will be nice to have riders downtown,” she said.

Haman said the Iowa City Downtown District has preliminarily been involved with the overnight stay planning alongside the Visitors Bureau to know what has been going on.

Iowa City will be the first city riders encounter after Coralville, and the release noted that breakfast options such as Hamburg Inn, Bluebird Diner, and Pullman Bar and Diner will be available.

Haman said while they hope a lot of riders will stop for food, it can be a big challenge planning for something like this, especially on the final leg of the ride.

“It’s kind of a hard thing to plan for because you don’t know how many will pull over,” she said.

The final day from Coralville to Davenport stretches 65.2 miles before riders will follow tradition and dip their tires in the Mississippi River.

Haman said the biggest thing riders can expect is to take a new route allowing them pass an Iowa City landmark.

She said “taking them through a route they have never before, by Kinnick Stadium,” would be one of the best parts of biking through Iowa City.

While participants will ride through Iowa City, they will stay overnight in Coralville for the fifth time. For the first time, the city will host riders at the Iowa River Landing on July 24, a complex with a mix of office, retail, residential, and leisure space.

Coralville’s theme as an overnight town will be Hollywood, and riders will be “met by red carpets, walk of the stars, paparazzi, and Iowa star celebrations of film, sports, and literature as they enter the Iowa River Landing,” according to a release.

The band Cheap Trick will provide entertainment.

The city last hosted RAGBRAI overnight in 2011.

More information regarding housing, maps, volunteering, and entertainment will be available in April.


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