RAGBRAI launches from western Iowa

CHEROKEE, Iowa Cyclist Barbara Vitsky, of Jacksonville, Fla., ducked out of the hot sun Sunday to check out a T shirt stand on Cherokee, Iowa’s Main Street. She was decked out with plastic grapes on her helmet, a necklace made of wine corks and a grape patterned bike jersey.

Vitsky and three friends form the Grapes of Wrath cycling group, named after John Steinbeck’s famous novel. outletmk On Sunday, they had just finished the first leg of RAGBRAI, the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, traveling from Sioux Center to Cherokee. The ride ends Saturday in Clinton.

“It is the 40th anniversary of the ride, and we are all 70 this year, which are nice even numbers. We figured we might not make it to 80, so we came,” Vitsky said.

“I’ve had a beefsteak tomato debate with these people. My uncle grew beefsteak tomatoes in New Jersey and I said to this person that surely theirs couldn’t be as good. I was proven wrong,” she said.

Vitsky was joined in Cherokee by throngs of cyclists in bike cleats and jerseys who were enjoying the festive atmosphere at RAGBRAI’s first stopover. The crowd grew as more riders rolled into town after pedaling the 54 miles from Sioux Center.

“When we left, it was still pretty dark. You looked up the road ahead of you and it was just a bunch of flashing red lights and helmets,” Shannon Letsche of Marcus, Iowa, said.

As the sun came up, those red lights turned into a “sea of people” filling the right hand side of the road.

Outside her store, people leaned their bikes up against the building, and Dave Gotto and Sue Reid of Yorkshire, England, stopped to enjoy a bit of shade.

Gotto sported a 25th RAGBRAI shirt from when they rode across Iowa in 1997.

“It’s just totally unique. Our friends back home say things like, ‘Well, it’s a bit flat isn’t it. What are you doing that for?’ You can’t explain it to people who haven’t experienced it themselves,” Reid said.

As part of the “international set” the two got a bit of extra attention. About 10 miles outside Cherokee, a group of onlookers was set up alongside the road with a big sign encouraging riders to “shout where you’re from,” Reid said.

Ragin’ Cajuns Set For Ron Guidry Weekend vs

LAFAYETTE, La. Moore Field.Guidry will be in attendance all weekend and will throw out the first pitch on Friday. The program will also recognize Guidry induction into the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns Hall of Fame before the series opener.The Cajuns will wear special uniforms on Friday against the Mountaineers to honor Guidry. The front of the jersey is a replica of the Cajuns jersey with Guidry retired number. On the back, the program honors Guidry pro career with the Yankee pinstripes and his retired pro number.Following the games on Friday and Saturday, the Ragin Cajuns baseball program will hold a live auction at The Tigue for the jerseys with 15 being sold each night. All proceeds from the jersey auction will benefit the baseball program. in Lourdes Park on the first base side of The Tigue. Fans will be able to enter Lourdes Park through the Reinhardt drive side. A ticket is not needed to attend the autograph session.Other promotions taking place at The Tigue this weekend include Strike Out A Stroke and Mother Day.Our Lady of Lourdes is partnering with Ragin Cajuns Athletics to donate $100 for every strikeout recorded by Cajuns pitchers. At the end of the weekend, Lourdes will hand over a check to head Coach Tony Robichaux signifying the amount that will be donated to the American Stroke Foundation in the program honor. with participants receiving a free t shirt.Louisiana baseball will also honor mothers on Sunday with the mothers of the current team members to throw out a first pitch before the series finale. Also mothers in attendance will receive flowers courtesy of Rouses while supplies last.Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>Lafayette man killed in Nuba trailer shootingLafayette man killed in Nuba trailer shootingUpdated: Wednesday, August 10 2016 1:12 PM EDT2016 08 10 17:12:07 GMTCourtesy of St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s OfficeSt. Landry Parish sheriff’s deputies are investigating an overnight murder in a trailer park in Nuba.St. Landry Parish sheriff’s deputies are investigating an overnight murder in a trailer park in Nuba.Abbeville police say woman was kidnapped and beaten at a medical building;http://www.outletmk.top Suspect still wantedAbbeville police say woman was kidnapped and beaten at a medical building; Suspect still wantedUpdated: Wednesday, August 10 2016 6:18 PM EDT2016 08 10 22:18:43 GMTAbbeville Police say they are investigating the abduction of a woman at a local medical building.Abbeville Police say they are investigating the abduction of a woman at a local medical building.UPDATE: Detectives with the Department have arrested a 16 year old male juvenile and a 14 year old male juvenile in connection with the downtown robbery.UPDATE: Detectives with the Department have arrested a 16 year old male juvenile and a 14 year old male juvenile in connection with the downtown robbery.Longtime ESPN host John Saunders dead at age 61Longtime ESPN host John Saunders dead at age 61Updated: Wednesday, August 10 2016 11:44 AM EDT2016 08 10 15:44:19 GMT

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