Great Iowa Traditions: Bix 7 Race and RAGBRAI

Two great Iowa traditions, one local and one statewide, meet in Davenport this Saturday, July 25th and we are all very excited.

The local based event is the Quad City Times Bix 7 Road Race which will start at 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning. Started in 1975 with a total of 84 runners this race now involves 12,000 plus participants.

If you are not interested in running or walking 7 miles that morning there are other options as well. You may volunteer, join the crowds along the route to cheer on participants, or visit the street fair in downtown Davenport. This amazing tradition is 41 years strong in 2015.

A few years ago we published a bit of information on another foot race up the steep hills of Davenport. It seems our 1858 citizens viewed the hills as a challenge too.

The second event in Davenport this Saturday is the end of the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa which is more commonly known as RAGBRAI.

Started in 1973 by the Des Moines Register newspaper, this event starts somewhere in western Iowa along the Missouri or Big Sioux Rivers. This seven day non-competitive bicycle ride takes participants across Iowa via a planned route that ends somewhere along the Mississippi River.

Traditionally participants dip their rear bike wheels in the Missouri River or Big Sioux River before starting out and their front wheels in the Mississippi River upon completion. The dipping spot this year for participants will be Credit Island as Davenport is once again pleased to be the ending spot for this great ride.

One of the RAGBRAI participants has chosen a special recognition for Davenport. A police officer with the Iowa State University Police Department is riding in honor of Davenport Police Officer Michael Farnsworth who died in the line of duty on December 5, 1971. We wish this officer and all RAGBRAI participants a safe journey as they travel to Davenport.

The wonderful part of Saturday is you will be able to join the Bix 7 race (either as a participant, volunteer, or sidelines cheering section) in the morning, stop by Credit Island to welcome RAGBRAI riders in the afternoon (and see the wheel dipping celebration), and still have time for street festivities in downtown Davenport in the evening.

And don’t forget to add to your calendars the Bix Porch Party next Thursday, July 30th from 11:00 – 1:00 outside the Davenport Public Library – Main Street Branch. This event helps kick off the 44th Annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival which will run from July 30th – August 2nd in downtown Davenport at the Davenport River Center and other downtown venues.

So come join us in Davenport and be a part of the festivities!


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