REGIONAL—Iowa went from two statewide bike rides to none in a week.
Following RAGBRAI’s announcement last Monday, April 20, Iowa’s Ride, a competing ride that included the N’West Iowa cities of Rock Rapids and Sheldon as part of its inaugural event, followed suit today (April 27).
“Unfortunately, after evaluating the current situation surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19) and great concern for the safety of the general public, the townspeople, riders, support drivers, volunteers, the Iowa State Patrol troopers, safety officials and staff, it will not be safe nor feasible to host the inaugural Iowa’s Ride on July 12-18, 2020,” wrote Iowa’s Ride director T.J. Juskiewicz in a news release.
Iowa’s Ride was slated to start in Dubuque and stop in Monticello, Vinton, Eldora, Clarion and Emmetsburg before reaching Sheldon on Friday, July 17. Following the stop in the city “Where Families Come First,” the 416-mile ride would have ended in Rock Rapids.
Ironically, the same day Iowa’s Ride was canceled, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the first phase of her plan to reopen the state for business.
Juskiewicz noted the fluidity of the coronavirus is why he decided to pull the plug early.
“We tried to hold out as long as possible in hopes that the world would begin healing,” he wrote. “ We also know the reality that the clock was ticking to lock in many requirements to host the ride including insurance, permits and licenses. Some of these are required to be secured and paid for 60 days prior to the event.
“Unfortunately, we have already put six months of time and resources into setting up the event and were prepared to host a great event. Most of these resources cannot be recouped.”
This is a developing story.