Getting Excited About RAGBRAI Again

Pharmacy Times, July 2019 Gastrointestinal Issues, Volume 85, Issue 7

The Iowa Pharmacists Association makes it a focus of the ride to stop to visit with smalltown pharmacies and local hospital pharmacists to highlight their presence and importance in their communities.

The Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) started in 1973, when 2 writers for the state’s newspaper of record, the Des Moines Register, sought to bike across Iowa from the Missouri to the Mississippi rivers and stop in small towns in rural Iowa along the way to tell their stories.

Now the largest gathering of bike riders in the world, RAGBRAI has been host to nearly 350,000 riders over the years, passing through 780 different communities and covering more than 80% of unincorporated towns in Iowa. This year, upward of 40,000 riders are expected on some days. Lance Armstrong, who rides annually and often with Jimmie Johnson, another avid biker, refers to the ride as Woodstock on wheels.

The Iowa Pharmacists Association (IPA) began sponsoring a group to ride in RAGBRAI 5 years ago, with the purpose of engendering goodwill with the association and the profession by pulling buggies behind the IPA riders’ bikes, with essentials for the ride, such as Band-Aids, butt cream, ibuprofen, and sunscreen.

The IPA makes it a focus of the ride to stop to visit with smalltown pharmacies and local hospital pharmacists to highlight their presence and importance in their communities. I remember growing up in Iowa and RAGBRAI passing through my beloved hometown, Forest City, and now I have grown to appreciate the role that the event plays in promoting the consciousness of rural America to us city dwellers.

Pharmacy Times® has once again partnered with the IPA this year to bring you coverage of the ride. Follow the ride on our social media feeds #PTRidesRAGBRAI.