Whether it's Lance Armstrong or just a fellow cyclist riding through your town, communities strive to play host.
Cherokee, Iowa has a population just over 5,000. July 22nd, that will jump anywhere from 25 to 30 thousand. That's when riders from Iowa's annual RAGBRAI will flip their kickstands down for the night and see what this Northwest Iowa town has to offer.
Molly Schroeder, owner of "Weeping Willow" said, "This is my first RAGBRAI here as a business so I'm really excited to see how it will turn out."
From new to old businesses throughout the community, store owners look to give riders something new.
Schroeder added, "I ordered little bikes that have clocks on the wheels, they're really unique and those have been a hot item already, even before people have come through."
When those people come through, the downtown area is ready to go.
Julie Hering-Kent, Executive Director of Cherokee Chamber of Commerce said, "Typically, our retail stores wouldn't be open on a Sunday. In this situation, quite a few of them are making the conscious decision to go ahead and open their doors that day."
That day, is soon approaching. But it's not only business owners who are preparing.
Chris Tofteberg, RAGBRAI Committee for Cherokee claimed, "Land owners, the property owners, they've really kind of been picking up the pace, not only decorating their homes but in some cases just really their residences."
Those decorations can be seen all around town.
Tim Greenwood, who is in charge of an information booth said, "We've seen a lot of people taking liberties with the bike theme and our theme of "Saddle up and ride" here in town. Just around town you see bicycles popping up in various forms."
One of those various forms...paintings. Something Schroeder has been working on to showcase the western theme.
"It's kind of a neat idea..you know we've had the rodeo here and we're a western part of the state. So, it's just really neat and I think this will be a fun memory for people to put in their scrapbooks for RAGBRAI."
A scrapbook that will have the town of Cherokee all over it.
The event will head east a week from Monday morning, scheduled to stay in Lake View that night.
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