There is still a real need for Council Bluffs residents to open up their homes and/or yards so that RAGBRAI riders have a place to stay the evening prior to the start of the event, an organizer said.
“We're still several hundred short of (riders) requests for places to stay,” said Tricia LeSieur, a member of the RAGBRAI executive committee. “We've met about 400 requests that now have places to stay in private homes, but we still have 300 more requests to fill.”
This doesn't mean 300 homes are needed to cover the amount since these requests might involve a large group needing just one place to stay, as well as individual riders, LeSieur said.
Nevertheless, she added, “The need is very real. We don't want Council Bluffs to look bad.”
An estimated 15,000 riders, some from other states and countries, along with 5,000 more in support roles, are expected to participate in the annual bike ride across Iowa that begins in the early morning of July 21 at the Mid-America Center. Most riders will stay at campgrounds nearby for the evening prior to the start, but many want to stay elsewhere and need a place for that evening, LeSieur said.
“They want to experience the Midwest flavor of hospitality,” she said.
All that is needed is either floor space in the home where the riders will sleep in their own sleeping bags, or in the yard where they will put up their own tents, LeSieur said. They will also need the use of a bathroom, she added.
Meals for the riders are not required and no costs are expected from the hosts.
For those interested in opening up their homes or yards for these riders, LeSieur suggested going to the event's website councilbluffsragbrai.com and clicking on the Housing tab for the necessary reservation. The deadline to do this is July 10, she said.