Jefferson swells with RAGBRAI XLVI riders Monday

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Some 10,000 RAGBRAI bicyclists and fellow travelers pulled into Jefferson Monday evening, having covered the 70 miles from Denison on the second day of the 46th annual bike ride across Iowa.

Tuesday’s 62-mile route will take riders both north and south of U.S. Highway 30 on the way to the stopover in Ames.

The ride began Sunday with the somber news that longtime Des Moines Register columnist Donald Kaul, a founder of RAGBRAI in 1973, had died at 83.

Iowa Boy Chuck Offenburger recalled the early days of the ride.

“In their first year,” Offenburger said, “they saw the appeal of this — shockingly so — centered around the old man from Indianola, Clarence Pickard, who was 83, and rode that first one, and that was so pivotal to this event’s future because when Mr. Pickard did that, it was like telling everyone, ‘You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to do this. You just have to get on your bike and ride slow and do it.'”

Tuesday’s 62-mile route will see riders travel on both sides of U.S. Highway 30 between Jefferson and Ames.

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