State Center finalizing RAGBRAI prep

Riders set to bike through July 25

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - The official RAGBRAI route through State Center will see bicyclists enter town from the west on 230th Street, also known as the Old Lincoln Highway. From there, the route turns east onto 2nd Street SW, north to Main Street, then south on 2nd Avenue SE, taking participants by the State Center Rose Garden. Finally, the route will take bicyclists out of town on 4th Street SE and back onto the Old Lincoln Highway, or 235th Street, eastbound.

STATE CENTER — It’s a big job to get a town of 1,500 ready for a group of visitors 10 times the size of the population. That’s exactly what the State Center RAGBRAI Committee has been working on for months.

“We’re feeling a lot better now than we did a month ago, things have really started to fall into place,” said committee co-chair Danielle Toyne. She has helped prepare the town for the influx of visitors coming July 25.

Fellow committee co-chair Hunter Wilkening said hard work from June is paying off this month.

“We were scrambling for volunteers and everything like that, but volunteers are starting to fall into place and vendors are falling into place,” he said. “Everything is starting to come together now, so I think we’ll be ready for (July) 25.”

The committee members said the town’s official route was approved after an official RAGBRAI ride-through in June. It will see riders enter from the west on 230th Street and then turn east onto 2nd Street SW. From there, the riders will link up with West Main Street and continue into the downtown area.

The route finishes by taking the group south on 2nd Avenue SE, by the State Center Rose Garden, and then east on 4th Street SE and 230th Street. The riders will leave town, turn south on Hart Avenue and roll through Melbourne later that day, ending in Newton.

Several local vendors have been finalized as well, including:

•Bailey’s Pizza and Broasted Chicken — pizza slices

•Hometown Foods — rib-eye sandwiches and fruit

•St. Andrews Grill and Bar — beer and snacks

•Road Hog Bar — beer and liquor

•State Center Locker — beef sticks and cheese sticks

•State Center Fire Department-EMS — pork burgers

•Walker Family Farms — sweet corn

•State Center Methodist Church — pork burgers

•State Center Presbyterian Church — pie

•State Center Lutheran Church — rose petal tea, coffee and protein bites

•West Marshall After Prom — Blizzards

•West Marshall Music Boosters — bake sale

•Delta Nu — water and Gatorade

•Nu Beta — homemade ice cream sandwiches

The vendors will line two blocks along Main Street, from Eckhardt Enterprises east to Hometown Foods.

“We will be having games, too,” Toyne said. “We’ll have adult-sized Hungry Hungry Hippos and just some yard-type games throughout downtown, close to the beer garden area.”

Wilkening said local business Brian’s Collision Clinic LLC will be helping with artwork for the event.

“Brian’s Collision in State Center is painting 40-plus bikes for us — they’re all going to be red with roses wrapped around them, and they’re going to line the route through town,” he said.

While many factors are in place for the ride in less than two weeks, Wilkening and Toyne said volunteers are still being sought. Jobs would include welcoming riders, helping in an information booth, trash and recycling cleanup, overseeing games and more.

For more information on the event or to volunteer, contact the State Center RAGBRAI Committee at statecenterragbrai18@gmail.com or go to www.statecenteriowa.org

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Contact Adam Sodders at

(641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com