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RAGBRAI is still a few months away, but cities are getting ready as the ride schedule continues to come out.

The 45th Annual RAGBRAI bicycle ride is set to start July 23rd, beginning in Orange City and ending in Lansing on the 29th.

One of the stops along the way is New Hampton.

"Each town has something special," said Julie Havel, New Hampton RAGBRAI Co-Chair.

One look around Julie's New Hampton shop and you can see her Iowa pride, so there is no surprise she's taken on the river-to-river ride.

"The most difficult is the hills; that is what everybody will talk about is their strength trying to do that. But at the end of the hill there is always a piece of pie, a good sandwich, a cold beer," said Havel.

All that, waiting in a small town honored to be chosen as a part of the route.

It is something New Hampton had its heart set on.

"We had disappointment. We would have liked to have been an overnight town," said New Hampton Mayor Deb Larsen.

But the town took the disappointment in stride and quickly applied to be a day stop. Mayor Larsen said the wait was hard, not even she was allowed to know before the route was announced Thursday.

"Yes, we are excited. We aren't just the pass through town, but the meeting town," said Mayor Larsen.

With 3,600 people living in New Hampton, the 20,000 RAGBRAI visitors might just be the most the town has ever seen. But it is a challenge they are willing to take on.


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