(Des Moines, IA) -- This year's 50th RAGBRAI route is getting a fine-toothed comb inspection this week.
A group of 35 bicyclists are halfway across the state looking at road conditions and anything else that could affect thousands of riders going across the state next month.
According to RAGBRAI Director Matt Phippen, "We're rolling at a slower pace, we're looking at issues in the road that could cause damage to bicycles or bicyclists. We have a lead vehicle that has a GPS software and computer system that will mark problems, and then we'll send reports to the counties and to the cities after we're done this week."
He says "For us were looking at obviously the roads and then traffic patterns when it comes to big trucks. When we were in the town of Nevada, they were doing their garbage pickup so we talked to them and they're going to shift pick-up one day so the riders will not have to deal with all the garbage trucks. Just kind of seeing the roads from the riders' eyes."
Phippen also says "We have some small towns that turn into big cities as these riders roll through but it's the Iowa nice, it's the Iowa hospitality. You know what, I think that's why it keeps riders coming back from 50 states and 20 countries because they're treated like family, and most of these communities, the food's amazing."
The route inspection group will leave Des Moines Thursday morning headed for Tama and Toledo.
2023's 50th RAGBRAI is July 22nd though the 29th.