The 38th annual bicycle ride from one side of the state to the other began in Sioux City on Sunday, as RAGBRAI put thousands of cyclists on Iowa’s roads for the week-long trek. The summer tradition includes many riders from the Marion County area, including Brian Kendall of Knoxville, who is doing this trip for the first time. Kendall, who works at Ulrich Motors in Pella, says he’s not worried about setting a goal of simply finishing the 450-plus mile route.
“To be honest with you, I think I’ve already made it. Just the preparation to go on RAGBRAI is a goal in and of itself,” said Kendall. “Going on RAGBRAI, I think, is more of the reward. The work’s been done, and now it’s time to enjoy myself a little bit, and hopefully I’m in shape to do it and it will be a good time.”
Opposite of Kendall is Casey Flanagan, of Pella, who has taken part in several RAGBRAI rides, going back to when he was just over ten years old. Flanagan says he enjoys the time with fellow riders and the variety of food they come across in the towns the ride stops through, adding that this year’s ride should provide an enjoyable ride for most people.
“This year’s supposed to be a pretty easy course, it’s fairly flat and fairly short,” said Flanagan. “While most people out there will be capable of more, I think it’s going to be a good, relaxing ride.”
Brian Kendall will be checking in with KNIA/KRLS News daily to provide progress reports on each day of his first RAGBRAI ride. Today’s route treks 79 miles from Storm Lake in northwest Iowa to Algona.