BY: RACHEL SMITH
In just twelve short days, our town will be flooded, but not in the regular water-logged way you might think. It will be flooded with bikes.
The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) will make its way into town sometime during mid-morning on Tuesday, July 25th. The ride, which started in 1973, is the largest bike-touring event in the world.
In. The. World.
And it takes place in Iowa.
Riders from near and far flock to the western edge of the state, dip their back tire in the Missouri River and set off through the hills and valleys of our great state. The ride has become a source of incredible economic boost for the many tiny towns riders visit before they get to the east side of the state and dip that front tire in the mighty Mississippi.
For Clear Lake, this year is special. This year it won’t just be a blur of bikes as they whiz through to the next town. This year… they’re staying overnight!
Now, most people’s minds go to the obvious things: volunteers, housing, and fundraising. All the logistics of hosting a large-scale event like this. Set up, clean up, and everything in between.
My mind? Well, it sort of goes in a different direction. I’m thinking, “Hey Clear Lake... let’s show ‘em what we’ve got!!” This is our chance to showcase everything that is amazing about our tourist lake town.
Because you know what they say… If you’ve got it, flaunt it!
And maybe someone on the week-long ride will think our town is awesome. Maybe they’ll explore our fantastic Main Street, our incredible Seawall and City Park. Maybe they’ll grab a cup of liquid gold from Cabin Coffee, and then have the best sandwich of their life at Starboard Market. Maybe they’ll fall in love with the friendly people and realize this is a tiny slice of Heaven.
Maybe they’ll want to relocate here, or open a business here, or buy a summer home here.
Maybe, just maybe.
So let’s show ‘em, Clear Lake. Let’s all pull together to make our town look incredible. Lawns mowed, yards picked up, put our best foot forward to make Clear Lake shine. And most of all, let’s show them that ‘Iowa nice’ is a real thing and that we have it in spades.
Let’s show them that Clear Lake is the best stop on their ride.
If you have yet to purchase your Clear Lake RAGBRAI t-shirt, or to sign up to volunteer or host riders, please go to www.clearlakeragbrai.com