In just a little over five weeks, thousands of cyclists from all over the world will make the west to east journey through Iowa.

RAGBRAI rider Kay Kinseth said, "We have a gorgeous state, and you miss it when you're in a car. But on a bike, you get a chance to take a step sideways and see how beautiful our state is."

Algona resident Kay Kinseth is gearing up to take part in her 18th RAGBRAI ride, starting July 23 in Orange City and concluding in Lansing.

The 45th year of the seven–day ride will explore scenic sections of northern Iowa, and stop in several cities along the more than 400 mile trip including Algona.

Algona Chamber Executive Director Vicki Mallory said, "For the community of Algona, it's a great opportunity to showcase our beautiful community to thousands of visitors for one day. It's like building a town for the night."

An endless wave of riders will be peddling up 210th Street into the city of about 5,500.

The city will showcase 13 hours of entertainment and activities for the cyclists coming into town along with plenty of food from vendors.

Mallory said, "We're hoping churches, non–profits, in addition to our numerous businesses will be providing a lot of great meals for the riders."

Even though Algona's main drag of State Street will be the center of the action, organizers say the estimated 20,000 people who'd be arriving with this event will be dispersed throughout the city.

Algona RAGBRAI Housing Coordinator Anne Nerison said, "Normally they're housing over 2,000 people, so that's a lot of people that are in private homes."

From a hot shower to laundry, this will be the seventh time Algona will play host.

Nerison said, "We love to open up our home. We've had different riders, from example the last time Algona was through, a pair of gentlemen riding a tandem, one of those gentlemen was blind."

For the other riders, they'll be camping out at the schools and the Y.

With just a few Mondays left until the convoy arrives, it's all hands on deck and bringing different sectors of the community together.

COO of Pharmacists Mutual Jon Grether said, "Not only allows us to support the employees and their family members here in the Algona area but also all the surrounding communities."

RAGBRAI arrives in Algona July 24.

According to a study by the University of Northern Iowa, RAGBRAI generates about $25 million in spending.

--KEYC News 12