The countdown has begun.
Just shy of one month from now, the population of Marshalltown will grow by thousands as RAGBRAI makes its way into the community for the first time in eight years.
Committees, organizers and volunteers have been working tirelessly for the past several months so all the riders will have to worry about upon arriving is "proceeding to party."
Shannon Espenscheid, director of the Marshalltown Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that the RAGBRAI planning for the July 25 overnight stop, as of now, has gone great.
"I feel that all of our committees are focused on making this a great experience," she said.
Espenscheid said the RAGBRAI committee is still looking for volunteers to host riders at their homes for the night or to help with one of the many different aspects of the event.
"We'll need help the day before, the day of and the day after," she said. "Whether that means greeting people when they come in to town or helping pick up, we still need them."
Capt. Mike Hanken with the Marshalltown Police Department said, on his end, everything seems to be falling right into place.
"[MPD] has had numerous meetings with the different committees," he said. "We've been working on the different routes the bicyclists will take and different patrol assignments around town."
Hanken said every MPD officer will be working 12 hour shifts the day of RAGBRAI on top of working their regular eight hours. There will be officers that will handle calls in the city, and then, officers will be placed at the major intersections, campgrounds and downtown.
"The Citizen's Academy will be uptown answering questions, and police officers from other jurisdictions will be helping out along with the Marshall County Sheriff's Office," he said.
Hanken said that there will be peak times that riders will be arriving in Marshalltown and if you're planning on driving through town, you might want to take an alternate route.
"People can go to the Marshalltown RAGBRAI website, and it will show all of the campsites and road maps where the riders will be traveling," he said. "My biggest suggestion is just to expect some delays and avoid those major routes."
Hanken said he is expecting this to be a great time for the community of Marshalltown, and it's a great way to showcase the city, he just asks for everyone's cooperation.
"We just ask for everyone to be patient and courteous," he said. "These people aren't familiar with Marshalltown, and we want a safe and happy event."
Espenscheid said that, overall, she is looking forward to a successful evening.
"I think that Marshalltown has great hospitality, and we have a great venue," she said. "We're really proud of that."
If still you're interested in volunteering, you can visit the Marshalltown RAGBRAI website at www.marshalltownragbrai.com or call the Marshalltown Convention and Visitors Bureau at 641-753-6645.