“A Wheelie Good Time” is planned in Chariton to welcome the anticipated 15,000 bicyclists on RAGBRAI XLVII as they roll through Lucas County Wednesday, July 24.
Residents are encouraged to welcome the cyclists as they ride the 84.3 miles from Indianola to Centerville. The entire route for RAGBRAI is set including the path riders will take through Chariton, which will serve as a “meeting town” on the longest leg of RAGBRAI 2019.
An optional 32.3-mile loop will create this year’s Karras Loop, which offers riders the chance to ride more than 100 miles that day.
Riders will approach Lucas County from Lacona on County Road S-23, turning east onto H32 to pass by the Hy-Vee Distribution Perishables location before turning east onto Curtis Avenue to ride past the Chariton Softball Complex. The route will turn south at the baseball field and then again east onto Ilion Avenue. Riders will turn toward the square at Main Street past the high school. The support vehicles that will meet with riders in Chariton as the “meeting town” will come into Chariton south on Highway 14, turning west on Ilion Ave. and south on Grand Street to avoid interfering with bicycle traffic. Support vehicles will then be exiting Chariton via 7th St to Woodlawn and turning on 8th St to head towards Hwy 34 to travel east to Albia. The exit route has been selected to avoid bicycle traffic and the underpass on Albia Rd.
Chariton RAGBRAI Committee co-chair Dave Hendricks said the route was developed after careful consideration for the safety of riders and community members. “We wanted to be certain the riders and their support vehicles don’t cross paths before they arrive at the meeting point in the Community Center and south High School parking lot.” Hendricks said. “The route we have mapped out accomplishes that and gives the riders and their support teams a great meeting place.”
Lucas County Engineer Todde Folkerts and Shawn Garton of Johnson Machine Works put together a map so local residents can see exactly where they expect to see the colorful riders as they pass through town. It will be on display at Chariton Area Chamber Main Street office and additional downtown businesses for the public to view.
It is important to remind those working and living on the route to plan accordingly for parking and access the day of. The Chariton square and a block in each direction will be closed to thru traffic and parking July 24. The night before on July 23, vehicles will need to be moved off the bicycle and support route by 7 p.m. to avoid forced removal.
Read the July 2, 2019 edition of the Chariton Leader for the rest of the story.