The news that a new bike ride is planned for this summer for the same week as the 48th annual RAGBRAI, the Des Moines Register's Annual Great Bike Ride, has Iowans stunned and confused.
The announcement by the former staffers of RAGBRAI, who resigned Tuesday afternoon over the Des Moines Register’s handling of the Carson King story, had a similar impact on the Iowa State Patrol, the agency that has been ensuring the safety of riders and communities during the weeklong summer event.
“The Iowa State Patrol is very shocked when he heard the news,” said Sgt. Alex Dinkla, the agency’s spokesperson.
RAGBRAI has pledged to stay on track with event as planned. The route is typically announced in January.
Iowa’s Ride, on the other hand, has said they are looking at a northern route, which is to be announced Nov. 10.
Dinkla said the State Patrol has not yet been contacted by the organizers of Iowa’s Ride, the newly formed entity which splintered off of RAGBRAI.
But Dinkla added that his agency is ready for a sit-down conversation with the new group.
“Moving ahead, we are open to make sure that all Iowans are safe,” he said.
In the past, about 18 state troopers, paid by RAGBRAI, have worked to ensure the safety of riders and communities for the duration of the week-long RAGBRAI event.
“If the two rides were to happen, there are a lot of logistics to work out,” he said.
Dinkla added that typically, the planning on his end start “around January and February,” but the new development may change that.
“Like the rest of Iowa, we have plenty of questions that we would love to ask, like what’s RAGBRAI’s future, where does the new ride stand, how many riders will be on each ride?”