On Sunday, RAGBRAI XXXVII kicks off. Although this year's route takes place in southern Iowa, the effect of the cross-state bike ride is felt through out the entire state.
Each year these shops have their repair vans on the bike route taking care of the riders.
Besides giving logistical support for RAGBRAI, these bike shops are the only vendors with permission to sell official Ragbrai t-shirts and other RAGBRAI mementoes. Letsche's Bike Shop gets into the spirit of RAGBRAI every year by having t-shirts made right here in Cherokee.
For much of the last 10 years Mick and Marilyn Samsel of Creative Services of Cherokee have printed t-shirts for Letsche's Bike Shop. Working as a team, Mick and Marilyn work with Letsche's Bike Shop owner Tom Letsche and his wife Amy, to get the design right, colors, and shirts picked out.
Marilyn handles all of the logistics of ordering the shirts and checking the order in, and readying them to print. Then the work begins, with Mick printing, and Marilyn handling the drying process, then sorting and re-packaging the shirts.
Letsche's has to pay royalties to be able to produce official RAGBRAI mementoes, about 23 ½ percent on each item sold. According to Tom Letsche the royalties payment goes back to RAGBRAI and helps go for the next year's ride, plus RAGBRAI supports several charities with funds raised. "And plus, being licensed by RAGBRAI, I can do a lot of fun things" said Letsche.
One of those fun things that Letsche dose is a little memento that is a medallion of a miniature metal t-shirt that list all the places that Letsche will be during RAGBRAI if a rider needs any repairs while on the road.
Letsche's road schedule is as follows; on Sunday he will be in Henderson, Monday-Corning, Tuesday-Macksburg, Wednesday-Sandyville, Thursday-Bethlehem, Friday-Hedrick, and Saturday he will be in Mt. Pleasant.
If you need help to prepare for RAGBRAI, any of these shops listed below are official RAGBRAI bike shops and are able assist you.
Letsche's Bike Shop 215 West Main Street, Cherokee, 51012-1851 Phone: 712-225-3433 Web site: letsches.com
Bike Country 825 East 1st Street, Ankeny, 50021-2058 Phone: 515-964-5623 Web site: bikecountry.com
Connecticut Yankee Pedaller 908 Court Avenue, Chariton, 50049-1826 Phone: 641-774-5557 Web site: cypbikes.com
Boulevard Sports 4211 Chamberlain Drive, Des Moines, 50312-2210 Phone: 515-255-8433 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bikes to You 921 Broad Street, Grinnell, 50112-2047 Phone: 641-236-8600 Web site: bikestoyou.com
Harper's Cycling & Fitness 1106 Grandview Avenue, Muscatine, 52761-1631 Phone: 563-263-4043 Web site: harperscycling.com
Rider Sales, L.L.C. 102 East 3rd Street, Suite B, Washington, 52353-2205 Phone: 319-653-5808 Email: email@example.com
Bike World 5970 Ashworth Road, West Des Moines, IA 50266-7110 Phone: 515-222-1880 Web site: bikeworldiowa.com
Rasmussen Bike Shop 301 Grand Avenue, West Des Moines, 50265-3715 Phone: 515-277-2636 Web site: rasmussenbikeshop.com
Spoken Wheel Cyclery 420 Washington Avenue, Iowa Falls, 50126-2313 Phone: 641-648-2924 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org