Q-C area begins rolling for RAGBRAI 2014

2013-07-17T07:15:00Z 2013-07-17T12:12:16Z Q-C area begins rolling for RAGBRAI 2014Kurt Allemeier kallemeier@qctimes.com The Quad-City Times

An effort to get RAGBRAI to return to Scott County is off and rolling.

The Scott County Board of Supervisors will vote Thursday on a resolution of support for bringing the event, Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, back to the Quad-Cities in 2014.

Applications for host cities are due Aug. 15.

"It has been six years since RAGBRAI ended in LeClaire and three years since it ended in Davenport," said Joe Taylor, president of the Quad-Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We can never predict where it will be, but we want RAGBRAI to know of the Quad-Cities' ongoing interest in hosting.

Taylor is already lobbying to get a Quad-City stop on the 50th RAGBRAI route. Prior to LeClaire serving as the final destination in 2008, RAGBRAI hadn't been to Scott County since 1982.

LeClaire's tourism committee decided the city isn't ready for a repeat performance as host because of the many traffic headaches that cropped up in 2008. Interstate 80 and U.S. 67 intersect at the river town north of the Quad-Cities.

"There were a lot of logistical issues getting people in and out of LeClaire last time," said Ryan Burchett, president of the city's tourism board. "Eighty and 67 are our strengths 365 days a year, but that was a mess.

"We need to do a lot more studying on how we can do that better," he said. "No one was really comfortable with where we stood today."

Davenport intends to submit an application to serve as the ride's endpoint, Mayor Bill Gluba said.

"We would certainly welcome RAGBRAI back to Davenport —Iowa's front porch," he said. "I'm glad we're considered the festival community of Iowa."

Gluba pointed out the financial boost the city gets from RAGBRAI, the final destination for the 2011 ride, by filled hotel and motel rooms, and people eating and drinking at local restaurants and bars.

LeClaire essentially shut down for a day during the 2008 RAGBRAI, Burchett said. The city's tourism board will create a committee to examine the problems from RAGBRAI and pose solutions.

"We decided to work on this in the next six months to see if there is interest in the community to do this again because it is a huge undertaking for us," he said.

 The 41st RAGBRAI rolls out of Council Bluffs on Sunday. It ends in Fort Madison on Saturday, July 27.

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(1) Comments

  1. QC-RZRBCK
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    QC-RZRBCK - July 17, 2013 7:27 am
    Bettendorf would be the ideal ending point, having never hosted this event before. They would need to step up to the plate though. LeClaire is making excuses and Davenport showed a complete lack of cooperation in working with the local bicycle clubs. Let's Go Bettendorf!
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