Organizers and riders making final RAGBRAI preps - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Organizers and riders making final RAGBRAI preps

It's not yet the real thing.

"It's just a great way to get out and spend a Saturday.  It's been a beautiful day, a really nice ride," said Joe Gillespie of Iowa City.

But it's building up to that type of feel.

"They create a buzz around the communities that are part of the training ride," said Ellen Bigelow, member of the Coralville RAGBRAI Committee.

 As RAGBRAI draws nearer, it's the final moments for cyclists to tune up before the big event.

 More than 400 aspiring riders made the 65 mile trek from Davenport to Coralville Saturday, the inverse of the final leg of this year's statewide ride.

"It's important, the more miles you can get in, and the more hills you can climb before RAGBRAI really makes the ride that much more comfortable.  So there's a lot of folks that have chosen to take advantage of this opportunity," said Josh Schamberger, member of the Coralville RAGBRAI Committee.

While cyclists get themselves ready for the annual bike ride, Coralville committee members are making sure their part of the route is up to par.

"We're inspecting the route and making notes as to where roads might need to be improved a little bit, or some patch work done," Schamberger said.

The committee is anticipating more than 20 thousand visitors in town for the weekend, meaning there's always a need for more help.

"We'll take any and all volunteers we can get, and certainly if you live in the Coralville, Iowa City area, we'd also be interested in hearing from those folks that might loan their yard for the night."

All final steps, in making sure the 2011 ride, is a smooth one.

"You have to kind of get out and do a few trial runs before you do the full big one, otherwise, you don't quite know what you're getting in to," Gillespie said.

RAGBRAI begins July 24th from Glenwood.



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