Vinton’s own Matt Phippen has been hired as the new Director of Operations for the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI), a ride he’s proudly been a part of since childhood.
“As a young kid, I watched RAGBRAI through Oelwein in 1990,” Phippen said. “My father was in law enforcement. We opened up our backyard to cyclists. I rode my first RAGBRAI in 1998 and ever since then I’ve found a way to be involved.”
According to a release by RAGBRAI, Phippen will oversee the day-to-day logistics of RAGBRAI including route planning and logistics, town planning, and partner relationships with city, state and county officials, law enforcement, and medical personnel. He is already at work in Des Moines preparing for the upcoming RAGBRAI 2022. This year’s route will be announced on Friday, Jan. 28.
“I’ll be out getting communities excited about the potential of RAGBRAI,” Phippen said. “This is about being on the road, connecting the dots of where we should go. My goal is to help tell the story of Iowa through small town communities, cities, and RAGBRAI.”
Phippen, who spent 23 years with current RAGBRAI sponsor Scheels, will also be getting back on his bike as the organization sweeps over the state planning out their path. They will need to check into road construction work on potential routes.
“I need to be a learner this year,” Phippen said. “My goal is to get in front of as many people as I can and let them meet me and see what I’m about you know personally. Building partnerships is number one for me.”
The Phippens-Matt, Danielle, Addyson, Lainey and Hayden-have lived in Vinton for 15 years. When not on the road or in Des Moines, Matt will be working at home.