Tuesday, Jul. 19, 2011 11:06 am

On July 24, Team Grinnell was among the mass of 15,000 riders dipping their tires in the Missouri River water to kick off RAGBRAI, the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. The annual seven-day ride across the state touts itself as “the oldest, largest and longest bicycle touring event in the world.” The team enjoyed an extra treat on Thursday as RAGBRAI rolled into town—an overnight stay at the College.

The College served as a major sponsor of RAGBRAI’s visit and one ofseveral activity centers for the 25,000 expected visitors. The campus offered housing, camping, dining, showers, parking, shopping, and much more during the overnight stay for cyclists and guests. In addition, Alumni Relations hosted specific activities for alumni riding RAGBRAI.Activities on campus included a special Family Fun Center of family-friendly activities outside Faulconer Gallery—including craft stations, outdoor movies, and performances—campus tours, and evening tours of the Grant O. Gale Observatory. In addition, many students, faculty, and staff served as ambassadors on campus and throughout the community in support of the event.

Riders sported Grinnell College team shirts when leaving the town on College Spirit Day, Friday, July 29.

Interested in riding with the College next year? Join Team Grinnell in 2012! Team members include Grinnellians of all sorts—students, alumni, faculty, staff, coaches, prospective students, and parents.

Grinnell Updates from the Road

RAGBRAI stories and more photos available:

Fast Facts

  • It’s Grinnell’s fourth time hosting RAGBRAI in the event’s 39-year history.
  • Bike lanes, routes, and trails crisscross the community, and lead to several recreation areas, including nearby Rock Creek State Park.
  • Bicyclist Christine Thorburn, M.D., class of 1992, is a 2004 and 2008 Olympian.
  • More employees at Grinnell College participated in the state’s Bike to Work Week program than any other employer in Iowa.
  • Bright yellow campus bikes give students a quick lift around campus and downtown.
  • The College donates unwanted bikes to the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison where inmates refurbish them for those in need of transportation.
  • Imagine Grinnell hosts 2nd Saturdays—run/walk/bike events with breakfast and prizes—from May through September.