OSKY Hosts Ragbrai 2013

Riders continue to enter Grinnell around 6 p.m. on Thursday, Day 5 of their journey on RAGBRAI

Riders continued to enter Grinnell around 6 p.m. on Thursday, Day 5 of their journey on RAGBRAI 2012

by Jason Madison

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Oskaloosa has another big designation. It will be one of eight cities to host this year’s RAGBRAI in July. The last time Osky hosted bike riders was ten years ago.

The bike route this year is the second shortest in Ragbrai history. It will cover 407 miles from the start in Council Bluffs to the end in Fort Madison. CRI’s Jason Madison has more.

“After the year they went through last year with a 105 degree temperatures. We deserve this type of route, to have good fun Ragbrai! So lets have a great time.”, says TJ Juskiewicz Director of Ragbrai.

At Ragbrai’s 41st press conference last Saturday Oskaloosa was selected to be a part of this year’s path that will bring more than 3-million dollars to town.

“It’s a huge impact on our business climate.”

According to Oskaloosa Chamber of Commerce Director, Jon Sullivan, the one day event will bring an estimated 10 to 15-thousand people to Oskaloosa, doubling the towns population for less than 24 hours.

“We hope our merchants will be able to capitalize on that our grocery stores and everybody in general. Every motel and room in this town is right now is full.”, Sullivan added.

Across town at Bobzilla’s Bike Shop owner Jeff Wilford knows the event is miles down the road, but plans to volunteer on the one the various committees and have his business open to riders as they pass through.

“I’ve done Ragbrai for a lot of years but as a bike shop owner this is my first rodeo. So I’ll be checking with others shops that have been in host towns to find out what exactly what sort of items.” says Wilford.

It all comes to down to volunteering Sullivan says.

“This thing will consist of many committees and a lot of volunteers and it doesn’t happen if we don’t have all of those. ”

For those not getting involved with the major event Wilford added this bit of advice.

“For the people who live here and aren’t going to be on Ragbrai. Just enjoy it, it’s a spectical, it only happens once every year, and it’s been ten since it’s happened here. So driving will maybe a little more difficult especially in certain areas of town where the activities are located. Plan ahead! If you do your grocery shopping on Thursday plan to do it Wednesday or something.”

To find out how you can volunteer either by joining a committee or opening your home to riders contact Jon Sullivan at the Chamber of Commerce by calling 641-672-2591.

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