July 26, 2013

Oskaloosa bids farewell to RAGBRAI

The Oskaloosa Herald


Several volunteers got up early Friday to wish RAGBAI riders a fond farewell.

Sherry Vavra of the Hospitality Committee and several volunteers wished the bikers farewell at the intersection of 17th Avenue East and Highway 23. Law enforcement officers and ambulance personnel were on hand to direct traffic and take care of bikers who may be injured on the way out of town.

Vavra said she and the volunteers arrived at 5 a.m. to wish the RAGBRAI bikers farewell.

“I'm tired,” she quipped. “We've gotten so many compliments at the information center. Everybody seemed to be very happy,” she added.

The volunteers had set up some blue-painted bicycles and a tall, inflatable figure to decorate the intersection.

One of the important duties for the volunteers was to warn bike riders to walk their bicycles over the railroad tracks on Highway 23 just before the intersection with 17th Avenue East. Vavra said the bicyclists who stayed on the former Vennard College campus had to travel over the tracks to leave town. The railroad tracks caused some bikers to wipe out on the roadway, which added a visual reminder to others following to use caution.

Vavra said the RAGBRAI stop in Oskaloosa was a success.

“It's fun. Everybody had a really good time — our people and the visitors,” she said.

Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at oskynews@oskyherald.com.