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Rick Paulos, a Cedar Rapids man who has ridden every RAGBRAI since its spontaneous inception in 1973, said despite the surprise resignation this week of its four-person marketing staff and plans for a rival ride, the annual statewide bike ride and tourism juggernaut has survived other threats, and will again.

Others have organized large-scale bike rides — albeit not competing head-to-head with the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa — and they’ve fizzled after limited success, And RAGBRAI has forged ahead after losing other figureheads over the years.

“RAGBRAI has never been about the organizers,” said Paulos, 63. “The current people that quit have self-inflated their own importance. They are really just organizers.


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