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The big announcement was made last Saturday evening that Leon would be an overnight stay for RAGBRAI 2016. The annual bike ride is taking the southern route across Iowa this year.
The ride begins in Glenwood July 23 and ends in Muscatine on July 30. The overnight stop in Leon will be Tuesday, July 26, following the Decatur County Fair.
The last time Leon was an overnight stop was in 1981. RAGBRAI passed through in 1992 and 2003.
This year’s course covers 419.9 miles (third shortest in the event’s 44 year history), with a total climb of 18,488 feet (making it the 24th flattest).
Many local residents of Leon and the area have participated in the ride over the last 44 years since its beginning in 1973. Centerville will be the next overnight town. They were also an overnight town with Leon in 1981.
There will be lots to do between now and July as the community and surrounding area needs lots of preparation for the several thousand cyclists plus support groups that converge on the overnight towns. Places to eat, places to camp, entertainment, etc. are only a few details to be worked out, not to mention the volunteers and committees that will be needed.
Some of the locals have been reminiscing about the other three RAGBRAI’s, good times, educational and entertaining.
As details are being worked out, anyone with questions or who want to volunteer can contact Kolton Hewlett at 641-344-0624 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article by The Leon Journal-Reporter