Johnson County bike shop owners excited for RAGBRAI Coralville pit stop

As Iowa’s 500-mile bike ride gears up for the 50th ride this summer, overnight towns were revealed to include Coralville as a stop.


Emily Wangen

A cyclist rides toward North Liberty during the Big Rove bicycle event on Saturday, June 29, 2019.

Johnson County bike shop owners are gearing up for RAGBRAI’s pit stop in Coralville for its 50th ride this summer.

On day six of RAGBRAI, riders will roll into Johnson County coming 80 miles from Tama-Toledo. The journey begins July 22 and ends on July 29. Started by two Des Moines Register employees in 1973, the seven-day bike ride goes from the Missouri River to the Mississippi River stopping each night of the ride.

It will mark the sixth year of Coralville being an overnight town in the RAGBRAI expedition.

During the ride, Coralville will also celebrate its 150th anniversary as a town.

Paul Sueppel, a manager of Iowa City World of Bikes on 723 S. Gilbert St., said the announcement of RAGBRAI coming back to Coralville is awesome.

Sueppel said business pick-ups at World of Bikes during RAGBRAI.

“We see a lot of locals and people coming in from out of state and everything picks up, picks up our business quite a bit,” Sueppel said. “It’s always nice to see though I mean, I think it’s great for the community. Great for people to see the cyclists out there.”

“Yeah, we’ve been around since 1974. So we’ve seen several RAGBRAIs at this point,” Sueppel said. “They’ve all been great.”

The overnight towns include the starting night in Sioux City, then the first 77 miles of the expedition lead riders to Storm Lake. From there, the City of Carroll will host the participants on the second night followed by Ames 83 miles later, and then bikers will reside in Des Moines on the fourth night.

For the last three nights of the ride, participants will finish out in Tama-Toledo, Coralville, and Davenport this year.

Across the street from World of Bikes on 816 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City Geoff’s Bike and Ski in manager Nick Sobocinski said the business is excited about RAGBRAI’s return to Coralville.

“It’s always really fun, and it brings a lot more people on bikes every year,” Sobocinski said.