As one could appreciate, with 10,000-plus bike riders moving across the state during RAGBRAI® XLV, there is a large support system that also moves along with this group in the form of motor vehicles. These support vehicles follow the bike ride across the state and that supporting crew is made up of approximately 1,500 vehicles of all types who are transporting the riders' tents, personal items and other articles. These vehicles are normally registered with Des Moines RAGBRAI and issued vehicle passes and move from overnight town to overnight town during the ride.

These support vehicles are provided an official route separate of the bike riders and are directed to remain off the bicycle route and not to go into any pass-through towns.  In addition, these roads are marked to assist the drivers as they travel.

The overnight town prior to Waukon is Cresco and Friday, July 28, these vehicles will make their way to Waukon via Decorah on State Highway 9 to be staged at various locations throughout the community upon their arrival for the night. Saturday, these vehicles will then make their way to Lansing to pick their bike riders up, and the route for this will be also be State Highway 9 from Waukon to Lansing.

Understandably, a vast majority of these vehicles can be expected to make their way back towards Waukon as they begin to depart the county towards their final home destinations that Saturday.

So, much like the bike routes, as these vehicles make their way through the county, Highway 9 and other roads could become congested during certain times of the day. We would ask, again, that you please have patience and understanding as RAGBRAI XLV comes to and ends here in Allamakee County.

Finally, with the understanding RAGBRAI XLV will bring 10,000-plus riders and 5,000 to 10,000 or more people into Allamakee County, along with 1,500-plus vehicles, a need for additional emergency planning was required. This has been done and a countywide plan developed to provide county emergency service agencies, community RAGBRAI XLV planning committees and Des Moines RAGBRAI XLV organizers information on the policies and procedures to be followed during this event in preparation for or during an actual crisis situation in support of the standing emergency planning the County and communities already have.

An important part of this plan is directed towards providing safety for the RAGBRAI XLV riders during their time in the county and includes bike route safety; which I covered in last week’s article. Sheltering due to severe weather or other events and railroad safety in the three rail communities they will be passing through will be the focus of my final RAGBRAI XLV article in next week’s newspaper, along with some community impact information. Thank you.

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