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RAGBRAI arrives in FD Monday

Now in its 43rd year, RAGBRAI is a summer event in the Hawkeye State that is known not only all across America but internationally as well. This cross-Iowa bicycle ride attracts participants from all 50 states and many foreign countries. According to information on the RAGBRAI website, 326,650 people have pedaled 195,427 miles since it began in 1973.

On Monday, Fort Dodge will have the distinction of being one of the eight cities to host riders overnight. That will give many folks who may not previously have spent time here the opportunity to be our guests for a few hours.

Hundreds of Fort Dodgers have worked hard for several months to make the RAGBRAI riders’ visit to our hometown one of the most memorable stops on their long journey. These public-spirited individuals have volunteered to assist on the nearly two dozen committees and subcommittees that have mobilized the wide array of resources that must be orchestrated to make the arrival here of thousands of bike riders a joyous event.

It would be appropriate to laud dozens of individuals for the leadership they have shown in undertaking the preparations, but in truth it is the community as a whole that deserves praise because so many people have played a part in getting ready for RAGBRAI’s arrival.

Obviously, having our town’s census increased temporarily by so many bike riders has required extensive planning by city and county officials – and most especially law enforcement – to make sure it all goes smoothly. That has been made more complicated by the fact the annual Girls State Softball Tournament gets underway Monday. That event also will bring thousands of people to our community.

Consequently, The Messenger reminds Fort Dodgers that they should pay special attention to the guidelines that have been published in this newspaper and elsewhere about the best ways to navigate the town Monday. We urge our fellow Fort Dodgers to show patience and good humor as they experience the day. Quite clearly having an entourage this large pay us a visit will involve some inconvenience. That, however, is far outweighed by the opportunity to showcase our hometown and be a small part of this magnificent annual event.

Fort Dodge is ready.

Enjoy RAGBRAI.

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