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New RAGBRAI planners get bicycle organizations' endorsement after schism

Bicycle riders progress along RAGBRAI's route in July 2018 (KCRG File)
Bicycle riders progress along RAGBRAI's route in July 2018 (KCRG File)(KCRG)
Published: Dec. 11, 2019 at 3:54 PM CST
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Two local cycling organizations have expressed their support for a long-running statewide bike ride following a break-up between the ride's planners and its ownership.

The Iowa Bicycling Action Fund, a lobbying group for bicyclists, and the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, a Coralville-based advocacy group affiliated with the Iowa Bicycling Action Fund, said in a statement that they endorsed RAGBRAI after meeting with new staff in place after the

.

"Moving forward, we believe RAGBRAI is committed to enhance Iowa bicycle advocacy, promote bicycling culture overall, and contribute toward the state of Iowa’s reputation and economic vibrancy. The proposed changes shared with the board were positive for Iowa and we look forward to the implementation," Mark Wyatt, Executive Director with the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, said, in a statement.

Wyatt, on behalf of the organizations, said that the ride's

, and other new staff will be committed to the "safety and future success" of the long-running bicycle ride.

"For 47 years, RAGBRAI is woven into Iowa’s culture and tradition," Wyatt said. "This new era in Iowa bicycling has the potential for greater success and opportunity. We look forward to the future of Iowa bicycling."

The four staff members who worked full-time running the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa resigned on Tuesday, October 15, 2019. The group immediately launched a competing event, called Iowa's Ride, which will be held in July during the week prior to RAGBRAI.

The same two organizations had previously endorsed Iowa's Ride in a social media post to their Facebook Page, calling it "the best hope for continuing this proud tradition" of a statewide bicycle ride.

The next edition of RAGBRAI will take place between July 19 and July 25, 2020. Overnight stops on the ride will be announced on January 25, 2020.

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