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When the first edition of what would become RAGBRAI rolled into Ankeny on Aug. 29, 1973, it had 500 riders and the city had 9,000 residents.

The golden anniversary edition of the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa will again visit Ankeny on Wednesday But now those numbers ? riders and population ? are exponentially larger.

RAGBRAI, which has grown to be the world's biggest annual bicycle tour, has an unprecedented 28,000 registered riders this year and is expected to draw an equally unprecedented number of tag-alongs for the ride from Ames to Des Moines. RAGBRAI organizers expect it to set the one-day ride record.


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