Eldora readies for RAGBRAI riders; named overnight stop - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Eldora readies for RAGBRAI riders; named overnight stop

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RAGBRAI XLIII will roll through the state the third week of July.

Four cities in the KWWL viewing area will host overnight stops including Cedar Falls, Hiawatha, and Coralville.

But the Hardin County town of Eldora will be the smallest town to host riders.

The entire area is ready to roll out the red carpet.

Eldora - population 2700.

It's the county seat of Hardin County.

The town's numbers will multiply when it hosts RAGBRAI.

It'll be the 3rd time overall and the first time in 17 years.

"For the last 10 years, we've been continually sending in our application hoping that we would be considered for the route. Just a great opportunity, the economic impact is huge for a community our size," said Deb Crosser, director of Community and Business Development for the city of Eldora.

Crosser says there's a lot to show off that riders haven't seen since their last visit.

The downtown now has 66 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.

Many received improvements after a hail storm in 2009.

One of the big attractions for the Eldora overnight stop?

The Iowa River.

City leaders hope it will make an impression on RAGBRAI riders so that they will come back.

For now, it's lining up entertainment, designating sleeping areas, and finding volunteers.

"In small towns, we all have that cooperation mode in us. It's a great time, a fun time, an exciting time, and something to show off our community," said Eldora city administrator Bruce Bierma.

Just down the road is Woody's Bicycle Shop.

He's hoping his place will be along the route.

"I think it's gonna be awesome. This is the first year I've been in business where RAGBRAI's come this close," said owner Jim Wood.

He fixes bikes - keeping them out of the landfill.

It's a labor of love

"I don't make a dime. I just sustain what I do. It's a hobby gone bad. That's what I tell people," said Wood.

Wood hopes his shop cashes in thanks to riders - just as the city of Eldora hopes to make a lasting impression.

Eldora city leaders say they aren't sure what their theme will be quite yet.

The exact RAGBRAI route won't be known for several weeks.

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