WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Sights and Sounds of RAGBRAI's Visit to Keokuk

Jul 31, 2019

Thousands of bicycle enthuisasts set off from Council Bluffs on Sunday, July 21 as part of the 47th Annual RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Bicycle Ride Across Iowa). Their goal: to reach Keokuk by Saturday, July 27.

The vast majority of them did just that, dipping their tires in the Mississippi River to mark the end of their more than 450 mile ride. Organizers in Keokuk spent months preparing for the arrival of more than 10,000 riders and supporters by creating overnight parking lots, lining up food vendors, and building a dip site.

The result of that work was a six hour party along the riverfront on Saturday, complete with live music, cold beer, and plenty of spectators to cheer on the riders. It had been more than 25 years since Keokuk last hosted RAGBRAI.

The shelter house along Keokuk's riverfront was quite popular after standing around the parking lot, waiting to dip your tires to mark the end of RAGBRAI for 2019.
Credit Keokuk RAGBRAI

Some riders were greeted with heart-felt embraces after dipping their tires in the Mississippi River. Others chose not to wait in line and found their own spot to complete the race.
Credit Jason Parrott / TSPR

Organizers did their best to make 10,000 riders and supporters feel at home as they completed the 450 RAGBRAI route.
Credit Keokuk RAGBRAI

The U.S. Air Force Cycling Team received a standing ovation as they approached the dip site along Keokuk's riverfront. Riders said members of the team would stop along the route and help riders in distress, be it changing a tire or getting someone extra water. Several bands entertained the riders as they reached the riverfront, performing atop the George M. Verity Riverboat Museum.
Credit Jason Parrott / TSPR