Owner, Peter Sharp Cycle Challenge
Fairview Inn owner, Peter Sharp, is back on the bicycle this summer to ride RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa). “This time it’s not for charity”, says Sharp, after raising $20,000 last year riding Land’s End to John O’Groats in the UK, benefiting the Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital Cancer Clinic and the Boy Scouts of America – Andrew Jackson Council in honor of his son Simon. “I am riding RAGBRAI this year to research the logistics of putting on a ride for over 15,000 riders, hoping to bring a similar concept to Mississippi.”
RAGBRAI has been a tradition in Iowa for 35 years and attracts riders from all over the world. In addition to the 8,500 registered riders for the 514 mile, 6-day ride across the state, the ride also attracts an additional 10,000 riders on each daily ride. “It’s not a race, but a test of endurance for those not regularly cycling these kind of distances, says Sharp”. Each year in March RAGBRAI picks a different route across the state giving different towns and communities the opportunity to host the influx of riders. Civic Organizations, Churches and Youth Groups along with individual Residents prepare foods to sell to the riders along the route and in the evenings. Each night concerts are put on by local and regional musicians, and riders share stories of their day and previous rides across the country. Some folks ride alone while RAGBRAI encourages group entries.
“What is significant is that the ride not only produces an economic impact for the week of the event to each community and the state, but it exposes 15,000 riders to experience Iowa and gives them a reason to come back again later with friends or families”, says Sharp. “I’m hoping with the rich culture of food, music, arts and history, the beautiful scenery and architectural significance of our towns, along with the warm hospitality of Mississippians, we may also attract more tourism to Mississippi.” In addition, Sharp hopes that any excess proceeds from the event, would benefit the building and maintenance of additional bicycle/walking trails in Mississippi.
“To put on an event like this is a huge undertaking, with the organization of many disciplines from Marketing to Public Safety to Port-A-Potties”, but it’s well worth the effort” says Sharp, who hopes all Mississippian’s will rally behind and participate.
Dream Big Mississippi…the cyclists are coming!!!
If you are interested in learning more, please contact Peter Sharp at firstname.lastname@example.org
734 Fairview Street
Jackson, MS 39202