Co-founder of RAGBRAI, certainly one of biking’s earliest long-distance public rides, dies

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John Karras, a former newspaper man who co-founded RAGBRAI, died Wednesday in Iowa. He was 91.

RAGBRAI, based within the early Nineteen Seventies, was one of many earliest long-distance public rides that helped spawn a style of occasions throughout the biking group. RAGBRAI — Register’s Annual Nice Bike Trip Throughout Iowa — began with only a few riders, however rapidly grew into an annual occasion drawing 15,000 folks.

In accordance with The Des Moines Register, Karras suffered a fall and a minor stroke in current months and died from problems of that trauma, a household pal confirmed to the newspaper. Co-founder Donald Kaul died in 2018.

Karras co-founded the occasion with fellow Register scribe Kaul to encourage the general public to discover Iowa by bicycle. The pair first rode throughout Iowa in 1973 going west to east between the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, and chronicled the cities and other people they met alongside the way in which.

The newspaper invited the general public to affix the 2 reporters for the journey, and greater than 100 folks confirmed up on the prescribed begin line. The annual occasion is now “the oldest, largest and longest leisure bicycle touring occasion on the planet,” in keeping with The Register.

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