Final preparations for RAGBRAI underway - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Final preparations for RAGBRAI underway

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Thousands of bicyclists in Graettinger, 2014 Thousands of bicyclists in Graettinger, 2014
Bicyclists depart for Day 1 of RAGBRAI 2014 in Rock Valley Bicyclists depart for Day 1 of RAGBRAI 2014 in Rock Valley
WATERLOO (KWWL) -

While the annual bike ride doesn't officially begin until Sunday morning, for many -- RAGBRAI is already here.

The bags are packed, the bikes have been tuned up and cleaned, and the buses are ready to roll.

Bicyclists coming from all corners of the country have already begun the pilgrimage to the Missouri River and this year's starting town, Sioux City.

The route for 2015 begins in Sioux City and ends in Davenport, which is something that hasn't happened since the very first ride across Iowa in 1973.

The 2015 Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa will add up to more than 481 miles and more than 15,000 feet of climb.

Bicyclists will ride through the hosting towns of Storm Lake, Fort Dodge, Eldora, Cedar Falls, Hiawatha, and Coralville.

Tent cities will pop up and disappear literally overnight.

New this year, is an optional gravel loop which adds 34 miles for riders daring to take part.

Another loop the next day will give riders an option to bike nearly 100 miles.

Riders who complete the optional rides are rewarded with a patch, and a little bit of pride.

RAGBRAI is also important to the many communities bicyclists will pass through.

In addition to the overnight stops, there are more than 40 Iowa towns with something unique to share.

It all begins and ends with a dip of a tire.  Don't forget the pie.

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