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Rick Paulos, a Cedar Rapids man who has ridden every RAGBRAI since its spontaneous inception in 1973, said despite the surprise resignation this week of its four-person marketing staff and plans for a rival ride, the annual statewide bike ride and tourism juggernaut has survived other threats, and will again.

Others have organized large-scale bike rides — albeit not competing head-to-head with the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa — and they’ve fizzled after limited success, And RAGBRAI has forged ahead after losing other figureheads over the years.

“RAGBRAI has never been about the organizers,” said Paulos, 63. “The current people that quit have self-inflated their own importance. They are really just organizers. I think the Register will hire whoever they hire — they will have to jump in full speed and they will have their hands full. But they will put the ride together.”

Hundreds of people help pull off RAGBRAI — a border-to-border, seven-day summer bike ride — each year, and the vast majority are still around, he said.


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