Wishing RAGBRAI well

Thursday, October 18, 2007

We hope the decision by the Crawford County Board of Supervisors to prohibit RAGBRAI from coming through that county will not be repeated in other counties.

Most people in most communities have been pleased when they’ve learned that their town is on the route for the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. Hopefully, this will remain the case.

Cherokee has been the location of overnight stops twice within the last decade and rose to the challenge both times, hosting a number of guests more than triple the population of the town.

For communities on the route, the event generates revenue for businesses and civic organizations, showcases the communities and provides a lot of fun.

There have been several deaths by RAGBRAI participants during the more than three decades of the event but most were heart attacks or strokes, not surprising during an arduous six-day workout by people of all ages and physical conditions. Such deaths and debilitating illnesses have not been regarded as resulting from negligence by any government entity.

During the 2004 RAGBRAI Kirk Ullrich, of Davenport died from injuries suffered after he lost control of his bike when his tire went into a crack on a county road in Crawford County, a county just south of Ida County which is just south of Cherokee County.

The family filed a lawsuit, which was settled recently for $350,000.

Crawford County supervisors cannot be blamed for the reaction to the lawsuit.

We hope that Cherokee County continues to welcome RAGBRAI. However, the county’s insurance carrier might ultimately make the decision regarding having RAGBRAI come through the county.