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Hawkeye had 438 people at the 2020 U.S. Decennial Census. On Friday, July 29, its population swelled to at least 41 times that, as the 2022 Des Moines Register’s Great Annual Bike Ride Across Iowa with its 18,000 registered riders — and many more who joined temporarily along the route — swept through en route that day from Charles City to West Union. From there, they would conclude Saturday in Lansing, Iowa, dipping their bike tires in the Mississippi River.

The riders were diverse in age, ability, and geographic origin. But those who shared stories had a couple of things in common. Gratitude for the citizens of Iowa who welcomed them. And thanks for the weather, which was fortuitously pleasant for July.

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