More tidbits…

What about those pies?

From the Missouri to the Mississippi every church group with 20 miles of the RAGBRAI route will be selling pies. It’s a tradition and who would try to mess with that tradition? You just go with it. Accept it. But are those pies really safe to eat? I wouldn’t question it but I know some people who would.

Here’ the scoop on that from Clear Lake…

Next week this room at United Methodist Church in Clear Lake is expected to be full of hungry RAGBRAI riders.

Typically parishioners are pros at potlucks and feeding a lot of people but when selling food is in the mix it’s a whole new ballgame.

RAGBRAI Food Coordinator for church Marcia Grabinski said, “I thought, piece of cake, i’ll get people to do things in their homes and when I found out everything needed to be prepared here I panicked for a short time but then decided we’ll handle it.”

It’s a public health rule that all food made under a food license needs to be prepared where ever it’s being served it’s for the safety of those buying and eating it.

Brian Hanft with Public Health of Cerro Gordo County said, “you don’t know how that food was handled, how the meat was stored prior to cooking, you don’t know the health of the person who was preparing it.”

Now church members are preparing more than 250 pies and dinner with beef and chicken for thousands of cyclists..and it all has to be done at the church.

Grabinski said, “I think it was actually easier instead of soliciting people.

If the methodist church was just selling cookies or cakes they would not need a license, but since they are offering pies with dairy and meats on the menu, they need the authorization.

Hanft said, “because they are selling food that is from animal origin which is potentially hazardous food it can spoil.”

The rules are in place because the public expects their food to be safe to eat.

If the rules are not followed it could mean losing your business.

Hanft said, “if the health department identifies a food status that been prepared in the home and brought out for sale, we will ask that the product be discarded or removed from premises.”

And take it from this church group, they say getting it done all in one place and following the rules is a lot easier and more fun.

Grabinski said, “when everyone bakes it in their home and brings it in you don’t have that relationship building that you have eight or ten people in the kitchen, working together getting to know each other.”

Meanwhile in Britt (Home of the National Hobo Museum and Convention) …

More than 20 vendors will open for business by 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, offering refreshments and food items ranging from barbecue brisket to smoothies to Mexican sweet corn. A DJ will also provide music at this time.

Starting at 8 a.m., Britt resident Denny Brumm will announce riders as they make their way into town and also will conduct interviews.

At 10 a.m., the band Trips will provide live music in the grass lot south of Mary Jo’s Hobo House. The Hancock County Fair Board also will be sponsoring a beer garden in the same area.

Throughout the festivities, a variety of other things will be available for RAGBRAI riders to experience. Hobo storyteller Jerry Wellik will be on hand, as well as several familiar faces from Britt’s hobo community.

A juggler and balloonist are scheduled to provide entertainment, and volunteers will be cooking up mulligan stew. A draft horse hitch wagon will be on display to promote the annual Britt Draft Horse Show.

How early do people start arriving for the start of RAGBRAI?

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) – The first participant in the Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa has arrived in Siouxland.

John Anderson rolled into town from Tennessee around one o’clock Tuesday afternoon.

He says he’d never heard of RAGBRAI before and hadn’t been on a bike in eight years.  So, when some former students told him about the ride, he was skeptical.

“One of them said, ‘hey Mr. Anderson, you need to ride in this event across Iowa,’ and I said who in their right mind would want to ride a bicycle across Iowa?'” recounted Anderson.

Anderson says he didn’t do much training for RAGBRAI.  That came during the one thousand mile trek he took from Tennessee to Iowa.

He says he’s looking forward to the party, the exercise, and the sights.

“I have seen new parts of the state coming up here, and I’ve just been flabbergasted by the beauty of it,” he explained.

Not being a cycling enthusiast, Anderson wasn’t sure how long it would take to get here.

They’ll dip their tires in the Mighty Mo and head for Storm Lake on Sunday.

Who else  will there…

Two Iowa icons — Dan Gable, and RAGBRAI— are getting together this summer.

The iconic wrestler and coach will return to his hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, on Thursday, July 29 for RAGBRAI.

Gable is a wrestling legend. He lost only one match in all of high school and college (first at Waterloo West High, then at Iowa State), winning two NCAA titles. In 1972 Gable won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling without surrendering a point at the Munich Olympics. As the head wrestling coach at the University of Iowa from 1977-1997, he led his teams to 15 NCAA titles in 21 years.

And finally…

Remember the RAGBRAI credo: If you’re not having fun yet, lower your expectations.


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