STRATFORD - Luau on the Loop was the name of the welcome mat the town of Stratford rolled out on Tuesday morning for RAGBRAI riders.
Those riders braved the Karras Loop, named for John Karras, who helped found RAGBRAI, and in doing so completed the 100 miles from Lake View to Webster City.
The first rider arrived in Stratford about 8:30 a.m. after leaving Lake View at 4:30 a.m., according to organizers.
Riders enter Stratford on the Karras loop.
John Karras handed out patches to those who completed the Karras Loop. He’s pictured, right, with Gaylord Victora, of Webster City, a veteran of 18 RAGBRAIs. “I want to honor RAGBRAI,” Victora said. “It thrills me to see people turn out for this. Iowans are so marvelous.”
All of the bikers were welcomed by volunteers with Hawaiian leis.
Shakespeare Avenue was blocked off, with businesses and organizations offering food, games, photo opportunities, massages, cooling stations, and music making it a festive atmosphere, even in 90-plus degree temperatures.
Why ride the extra 18 miles?
One rider answered, smiling: "Because if you do 82 miles, you might as well do 100."