- Associated Press - Saturday, July 18, 2015

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Thousands of people were expected to gather in northwestern Iowa’s Sioux City this weekend in preparation for an annual bike ride across the state.

The Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa - or RAGBRAI - is expected to draw as many as 30,000 people, including participating bicyclists and their relatives and friends, the Sioux City Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1OmvPeg ).

The bike ride begins Sunday in Sioux City, and its 468-mile route will pass through Storm Lake, Fort Dodge, Eldora, Cedar Falls, Hiawatha and Coralville before wrapping up July 25 in Davenport.

With all of those people comes a boost to Iowa’s economy.

Erika Newton, executive director of Sioux City’s events facilities department, says RAGBRAI visitors are expected to spend more than $2.5 million while in Sioux City.

“The whole reason you want RAGBRAI here is for what it does for business,” Newton said.

Brad Donohoe and Ben Greif, both of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, pulled a large motor home into a Sioux City grocery store on Saturday.

Donohoe and Greif and nine others who will bike as part of Team Rejewel were stocking up on multi-packs of bottled water, beer and other beverages.

“I think it is going to be hot and brutal,” Greif said of this year’s ride.

Businesses have prepared for the influx.

C.J. Perara, owner of a Sioux City bar called the Diving Elk, said he has brought in more than 20 kegs of craft beers - most from local breweries - for the occasion.

“Most of it’s stuff we’ve never had on tap here before,” Perara said. “We’re anticipating our best weekend yet.”

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Information from: Sioux City Journal, https://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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