Whew!

Twice I experienced a RAGBRAI night. Tipton hosted in both 1982 and 2008. I was there both times.

The only distinct memories I have of 1982 was the hometown of the main event band. It was Skidmore, MO. We won’t go into why I remember that.

I remember a lot of the 2008 day and evening. I really remember looking around and seeing all that needed to be done to prepare for this one day and night.

Clear Lake is going through the beginning stages of that preparation. KIMT Channel 3 reports

CLEAR LAKE, IA–Organizers of Clear Lake’s big summer biking event are cautioning folks it will be day unlike any other.

The city is expected to get a $2 million economic boost from its RAGBRAI stop.

On Tuesday night planners emphasized “pride over profit,” as they plan for late July.

“Surfs Up” is Clear Lake’s slogan as they unveil their new RAGBRAI logo.

Business leaders, community boosters and charitable groups see opportunity ahead with around 20,000 extra people coming into town.

“We’re looking to get the word out as well as do some fund raising and some skill development  for people that are in the program,” Stacie Lancaster of Parents United in Mason City.

During the question and answer community meeting, Clear Lake organizers tried to warn folks that Tuesday July 27th will be an unusual day.

“We are going to have many street closings we’re going to have all sorts of things going on,  shuttle buses going around, it isn’t going to be the normal,” said Diane Thompson, Chairman of the Clear Lake RAGBRAI Committee.

Every detail is being thought about from entertainment to special T-shirts.

Florescent colored, bicycle shaped pins are being sold as organizers raise money to pay for bringing the bike tour to Clear Lake.

Folks are also being urged to show their pride for riders by planting flowers in a certain color scheme.

“This year everybody is coordinating the colors in deep purple, bright pink and white and it’s our way of saying to all the RAGBRAI riders welcome, we’re glad you’re here,” said Colleen Thompson who is the Clear Lake event’s hospitality organizer.

More than 500 volunteers are needed for various jobs.

More than 700 homeowners may be needed to house bikers overnight.

Diane Thompson said she received a call from a woman in Minneapolis who was representing a group of 70 riders.

Organizers are planning a meeting on April 15th for potential vendors who might want to sell food or other items to riders.

Information and applications for those interested is available now on the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce web site.

Parents United members have followed the RAGBRAI route over the past 2 years and raised money selling breakfast to bikers, they want to do the same this year in Clear Lake.

“It’s an absolute blast I’ve never worked so hard in all my life and had so much fun.  So it’s an incredible opportunity and you really don’t want to miss the good time,” said Lancaster.

A special web site for Clear Lake’s event will be ready by mid-April.

Organizers also hope to hold at least two more community gatherings between now and the event in July.

Whew!

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