Iowa’s annual cross-state bicycle event will have at least one presidential candidate joining the trail with fellow riders. John Hickenlooper will ride his bike from Norwalk to Indianola during the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa later this month.
The 67-year-old former Colorado governor is planning to ride 12.2 miles of the 39.9 mile bike ride scheduled for Tuesday, July 23.
RAGBRAI© is the largest and longest bicycle ride in Iowa. Bikers traditionally cross the entire state —from the Missouri River to the MIssissippi — in one week. It’s a great way to see the state, get in some exercise and – for presidential contenders – to meet voters in a different kind of setting.
This year’s ride stretches across Southern Iowa from Council Bluffs to Keokuk. Bikers will have to brave 427 miles of open road and climb 14,735 feet to complete the 2019 ride, which begins July 21 and ends July 27.
According to a statement from Hickenlooper’s campaign, it’s in keeping with the former governor’s love of outdoors recreation.
As governor, he:
- Created Colorado’s first Outdoor Recreation Office
- Was named the 2018 ‘Friend of the Outdoor Industry’
- Signed an executive order to establish the Inter-Agency Trails and Recreation Council to promote recreation across Colorado
- Helped establish Pedal the Plains an annual bike ride modeled on RAGBRAI.
During Hickenlooper’s tenure as Governor, Colorado’s outdoor industry doubled its economic output to $62 billion.
RAGBAI days often end with hundreds of participants camping and enjoying a beer tent. No word yet on whether Hickenlooper, who owned a brewery in Denver, will do some craft brew tastings during that part of the ride.
Anyone who wants to join Hickenlooper on his part of the ride can sign up on their campaign website.
by Paige Godden