The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

June 28, 2013

Osky prepares for pack of pedalers

OSKALOOSA — Oskaloosa will double its population in one day.

On July 25, around 12,000 cyclists will cycle 52 miles from Knoxville to Oskaloosa as they wind their way through a nearly 500-mile journey across Iowa during RAGBRAI, the Des Moines Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, which is entering its 41st year this summer.

Cyclists will camp out for the night in Oskaloosa before zooming to Fairfield the next day. Oskaloosa was chosen for an overnight stay for the fourth time since the bike ride's inception.

While this isn't Oskaloosa's first time hosting RAGBRAI, a decade has passed since the town's last overnight stay. The town's biggest obstacle this time around was planning for the slew of campers and RVs that will roll in behind the cyclists.

"When we had them here in 2003, there were 45 RVs we had to deal with," said Jon Sullivan, director of the Oskaloosa Area Chamber and Development Group. "Now there are 600. So the dynamics of how we're putting this together have absolutely changed."

Cyclists will be spread throughout the city at different locations: Edmundson Park, Southern Iowa Fairgrounds, the Oskaloosa Elementary School, Lacey Recreation Complex, First Church of the Nazarene, Oskaloosa High School and William Penn University.

There are also only 150 electrical camper hook-ups available, so they'll be snatched up on a first-come, first-served basis, he said. But he's not worried about the remaining campers.

"Most have their own generators, so it's not a real big issue," he said. "What we're finding is the more fluent riders now are wanting to have someone drive a vehicle for them because they want to sleep in the same place every night. They'd rather sleep in a camper than on a floor or in a garage, under a tent, whatever. We're getting more sophisticated riders, and that's their preference."

Text Only
Local News
  • 0731 OTT Aviation plane -T -M Flying free OTTUMWA — The financial obstacle may have been removed if your career goal starts with learning to fly. "We have it set up for three terms, about nine months," said pilot and chief flight instructor Darren Graham at Indian Hills Community College. "

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supervisors discuss pipeline potential KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisors received preliminary, general information on a new pipeline being proposed to carry oil from North Dakota through Iowa, including Van Buren County, then crossing into Illinois. The proposed Bakken Pipeline wou

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairfield stabbing suspects' trials separated FAIRFIELD — The three people accused of dragging a man into a Fairfield apartment before robbing and stabbing him have had a judge grant their requests to separate their trials. Dawn Dunn, Dustin Roll and Brett Hedblade are each charged with willful

    July 30, 2014

  • Local business donates grain rescue tube KEOSAUQUA — Stockport Elevator, owned by Roquette America, donated a grain rescue tube to Birmingham and Stockport Fire Departments. A training session was conducted Monday, led by Dale Ekdahl, a representative of Outstate Data, LLC, the device’s man

    July 30, 2014

  • Where do my taxes go? OTTUMWA — Wapello County Board certified its tax levy. But what does that mean? Based on budgets submitted by various levying authors, the Wapello County Auditor prepares and certifies the levy rates for the county. Budgets for each levy are based on

    July 30, 2014

  • OCSD releases elementary supplies list

    OTTUMWA — For years, parents of the students in Ottumwa's elementary schools have had to check to make sure the school supplies list they grabbed was the right one for their school. No more.

    July 30, 2014

  • Reducing runoff at the local level AGENCY — Pollution isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you look out at a field of Iowa corn or soybeans, but there’s growing concern about what manages to get out of the fields and into the water. The same nutrients that benefit the crops c

    July 30, 2014

  • Supervisors wrestle with staffing woes KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisor Chairman Bob Waugh says he wants county supervisors to help alleviate staffing problems within the county treasurer’s office. In May, supervisors opted not to replace a vacancy within the treasurer’s office. Va

    July 30, 2014

  • 0730 OTT Better Buildings -T -M Wildwood could be your home OTTUMWA — There was always one child per class who just adored school. If they went to Wildwood, they may soon be able to move in permanently. The Ottumwa board of education met Monday, where staff told them where the district stood as far as "facili

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • A changing roster -- for school board OTTUMWA — If the last time you saw your board of education was before Christmastime, the current school board might surprise you. Two members retired from the board: longtime educator Ron Oswalt stepped down, as did board president Carol Mitchell. Bo

    July 29, 2014

Photo reprints