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  • Mon August 18 2008
  • Posted Aug 18, 2008
Council Bluffs, IA America's longest-running weekly bike ride sets new record The Thursday Night taco Ride, the longest-running weekly bike ride, set a new attendance record on Thursday, August 14th, with 1,700 participants arriving in Mineola. However, a number of riders never left Margaritaville, so the total count was likely even higher. "We put a lot of effort into making this ride a special success. Lots of work and planning led up to the ride and I'm thankful for the volunteers that help me out." Said Greg Losh, taco ride co-founder and member of the Southwest Iowa Nature Trail Board of Directors. "I'm glad that it is over and ready to get back to a more normal-size crowd of 700 to 900." Losh tips his hat to the staff at the Minola Steakhouse for handling such a large group. He really appreciates Budweiser and Miller for donating t-shirts to help raise funds for Greg Anderson, the cyclist injured on the taco ride several weeks ago. "We thought it was a big deal when we got to 30 people and the steakhouse owner put us in our own room so we would not scare the regular customers away," said Dave Karlson, co- founder of the ride. "Who would have thought we'd see 1,700 participants?" Clint Howard owner of the Mineola steakhouse underwent a minor out-patient procedure on Thursday and toughed it out working in the kitchen to make the stop a success. Regular taco ride participants joined newbies and sporadic participants to make this ride such fun. Things heard along the ride include: • "What a great crowd and great weather." • "This is a great ride, great people and loads of fun." • "I liked them better when they were flashing!" • "There were so many different people enjoying the trail and camaraderie, collaborating to make the ride great with a great atmosphere." • "Sometimes you have to take one for the team!" • "This is so much fun." • "What a blast!" Film students from a major local college captured the ride for a documentary. Local cycling clubs and Ragbrai teams alike both participated: Team Humuculus, Team Angry, Team Toe Ring, Team Tall Dog, Team Amnesia, and the Bellevue Bike Club, just to name a few. The Wabash Trace Nature Trail is a converted railroad right- of-way running over 60 miles through the scenic Southwest Iowa countryside from Council Bluffs to Blanchard on the Iowa/Missouri border. The railroad tracks and ballast have been removed, and the trail has been resurfaced with crushed limestone. State agencies, individuals, families, businesses, and service organizations have donated the funding and labor to surface the trail, renovate bridges, and place benches and shelters along the trail and maintain the trail. Since 1988, Southwest Iowa Nature Trails Inc., The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and countless volunteers have worked hard to preserve the Wabash Trace Nature Trail for Public use and enjoyment. Visit the Thursday night ride yahoo groups website to sign up for regular Thursday night ride emails at http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/thursdaynightride/ Visit the Wabash trace website for more information. http://www.wabashtrace.org/

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