Sheldon, Iowa — Sheldon’s Iowa’s Ride Committee has made the decision to not be an overnight host for the ride which, at least at this point, is scheduled for July 18th through 24th.
The inaugural edition of the cross-state bicycle ride, Iowa’s Ride 2020, was forced to cancel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organizers had announced as early as Spring 2020 that the ride would take place this year. Since that time, some things have changed.
According to Iowa’s Ride Sheldon Chairperson Heidi Brown, at this time there is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding whether or not the ride will take place. She says Former Iowa’s Ride Director, T.J. Juskiewicz is unable to say with any certainty what the ride will look like, IF it takes place.
Brown says Iowa’s Ride really doesn’t exist as an organization anymore as it was beginning it’s first year in 2020. With all things COVID and the effects of the pandemic, Iowa’s Ride in it’s inaugural year was cancelled with the hope of it being done in 2021. However, she says, given the financial devastation of 2020 on that organization as it tried to kick-off something new, Juskiewicz, as well as others on the Iowa’s Ride staff now have other full-time jobs and, in fact Juskiewicz has moved from the state. So, she says, at best, this year’s ride was going to be a “grassroots” ride for only those riders who had registered for the 2020 event and not requested a refund. Brown says the best guess on that number is less than 1,000 and it’s not clear if those people would even ride this year given the dramatic changes to the event and the fact that IF it happens, it will not be a fully “supported” ride as was originally intended.
Brown says that, based on the situation’s uncertainty, the Iowa’s Ride Sheldon Committee decided it was nearly impossible for them to know how to financially plan to hold the special events that overnight communities traditionally do.
Brown says she has communicated to Juskiewicz that Sheldon will not be an “official” overnight community for the ride, IF it even takes place.
Brown says Sheldon has enjoyed the opportunity to be an overnight and a pass-through community for the RAGBRAI ride in past years and hopes for the opportunity to be a part of something like this again in the future!