It will be a hot time in the town of Davenport on July 28.
The 46th Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, or RAGBRAI, will end in Davenport on that day, the same day as the Quad-City Times Bix 7 road race.
The announcement of the bike route was made Saturday night in Des Moines.
“This is the third time in seven years RAGBRAI is ending in Davenport,” said an excited Joe Taylor, president and CEO of the Quad-Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau, who was at the announcement party.
“If that’s not a record, it’s close to being a record for the closest number of returns of RAGBRAI to an ending city,” Taylor said of RAGBRAI coming back to Davenport so soon. “Three times in seven years, that’s rare,” he said.
That the ride ends on the day of the Bix 7, he said, makes it even more special.
“It’s a good mix,” Taylor said. "Davenport has the infrastructure to host these events. The riders and runners love the events. This will be the third time we’ve done this kind of thing, so we’re used to this.”
The ride begins July 22 in Onawa and then heads to Dennison, Jefferson, Ames, Newton, Sigourney, Iowa City and then to Davenport, where riders will perform the traditional dip of the front wheels of their bikes in the Mississippi River.
At 428 miles, it is the seventh shortest in the ride’s history, while at climbs totaling 12,576 feet, it is the fourth flattest and fourth easiest RAGBRAI in history.
Taylor said that with the riders and runners in the Quad-Cities, that weekend brings in an estimated $1 million to the local economy, he said.
“It’s not just the last day of the ride,” Taylor said. “The economic impact starts the weekend before when riders will stage and park their cars and get their lunches and get ready for that week of riding. They’ll catch buses to the starting point and then have their cars here when they reach Davenport.”
Obviously, he said, the Quad-Cities is doing something right. “There are intangibles such as having good customer service that keeps people wanting to come back to the Quad-Cities,” he said.
“Three times in seven years is a pretty good recommendation by the riders that they want to be here again,” he added.
If Davenport does a great job this year as in the past, “then I’m hoping that sets the stage for RAGBRAI 50 to end here in 2022.
“A spectacular year could set the stage for bigger and better things to come down the road,” Taylor said.