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Clinton’s RAGBRAI finish is a business boost

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Clinton is ready to welcome some 15,000 RAGBRAI riders on Saturday. After months of preparations, the big moment is almost here.

Wheels are in motion at The Bicycle Station in Clinton. That's where you'll find owner Chad Jensen.

"Whenever RAGBRAI ends in Clinton, it seems like more of the local population wants to be a part of it," he said.

He's prepping for thousands of bike riders to arrive on Saturday. After making the trek three times himself, it can be good for business.

"It's huge," said Barb Hanrahan, while preparing to welcome vendors and entertainers to the riverfront.

"Millions, millions," added Marsha Smith, who directs Clinton's Convention and Visitors Bureau. "And it's just a wonderful thing for Clinton."

Riders are completing 471.1 miles across Iowa. There was lots of extreme weather along the way, so the city will be especially ready to welcome them.

RAGBRAI is much more than a week-long bike ride. It's also a chance to make a good impression. It's an impression that can lead to economic development.

"We always want to put on a good show because that's always going to be out there," said Hanrahan.

Hotels are sold out in Clinton. That's a good sign for the city's fifth time hosting RAGBRAI. There will be quite a celebration when riders dip their tires into the Mississippi River.

"I'll be here tomorrow," said Jordan Claeys.

Claeys, a young 13-year-old entrepreneur, will be pedalling among the festivities and selling his homemade bracelets for $4.

"I think I can make at least a hundred dollars," he said.

It's all about tradition at The Bicycle Station. Opening in 2004 inside a gas station and garage started by Jensen's grandfather in 1948, he thinks the RAGBRAI experience will keep Clinton riding high.

"The people that you meet are just amazing," he said. "The food is fantastic. The bike ride is always a good time."

There will be plenty of food, entertainment and bike riders along the Clinton riverfront on Saturday. Thousands of riders will be arriving between 10-2 on Saturday for the celebration.

"We're showing them a lot of good hospitality," Smith concluded. "That's the important part."

As the bicycle wheels roll, it's a positive spin for RAGBRAI in Clinton.

Roads will be closed for the RAGBRAI finish - get details, click here

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