Historic bike ride to tour southeast Iowa

Two southeast Iowa cities will be hosting RAGBRAI this coming summer.

On Saturday, Oskaloosa and Fairfield were informed that they were chosen as two of the overnight stops, hosting upwards of 20,000 people.

â??We are really excited for the opportunity to show off our community; to really give the 20,000 people that will come in with RAGBRAI an opportunity to see what all makes Fairfield tick,â?? said Rustin Lippincott with the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center. â??Obviously, we just started the process of putting things together, but I know being apart of this community that we will have a lot of hands at the table, a lot of seats saying, what can we do to highlight Fairfield?â??

And even though the route will bypass Ottumwa and Eldon, that does not mean it will not have an impact on tourism.

â??We here at the American Gothic House Center are very excited that RAGBRAI is going to be coming through southern Iowa. The route doesnâ??t appear to be coming through Eldon, though it will be close enough to get a lot of people to stop by,â?? said Holly Berg, Administrator of the American Gothic House Center. â??We are working to develop some fun ideas to get people to swing off the route a little bit and come see us. We are developing some new merchandise geared towards the ride to make it fun for all of the cyclists coming through.â??

The 2013 RAGBRAI route will start in Council Bluffs and end in Fort Madison.