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Lone bike shop in Le Mars, IA prepares for RAGBRAI

bike rag

LE MARS, Iowa (KTIV) - We are less than a month away from the longest, largest and oldest bicycle ride in the world, the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, better known as RAGBRAI.

This year the seven day adventure will begin in Le Mars, Iowa.

Bike Central is the lone bicycle shop in town, and, its employees are doing everything they can to make sure they are RAGBRAI ready.

"We anticipate quite a few people coming through the shop, bikers have an infinity to go into any bike shop that they see, so we anticipate that we can see up to 5 thousand people come through the shop on that Saturday," said Kevin Richards, the owner of Bike Central.

Richards said they have already seen an influx of customers.

"Since it's starting in Le Mars we are definitely seeing an uptick in tune ups, repairs, putting on new tires, putting in new tubes in the wheels," said Richards.

In years past, Richards says they would have sold dozens of bicycles for an event like this.

But with the pandemic - more people across the country avoided gyms and public transportation, and took to riding bikes.

The result? Richards says he hasn't been able to get any new bikes since January. So he says it's important cyclists get their existing bikes inspected.

"The best thing to do is to get your existing bike ready to go, get it safe to ride, and then you can enjoy a pleasant RAGBRAI," said Richards. "Make sure your chain is not stretched that can cause some real problems, make sure your tread on your tires in not getting thin or worn through,".

Richards says he is excited to see all of the many faces that will come through his shop.

"Its just fun to talk to the different people that come from all 50 states and foreign countries, and that's what really makes it fun," said Richards.

The search for RAGBRAI volunteers continues. Several events will be taking place to celebrate the kickoff of RAGBRAI. Thousands will begin the adventure at the Olson Cultural Event Center.

But organizers say they are still in need of 100 plus volunteers for the 3 day long festivities. Volunteers are needed for the beer garden, information booth, shuttle services, and much more.

To learn how you can volunteer, click here.

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Xava Parra

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