Hospitals in Independence and other towns are preparing for a possible influx of people later this month when thousands of bicyclists pedal through their cities.
Up to 10,000 riders and another 10,000 followers are expected to traverse the state in the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa - also known as RAGBRAI. The bicyclists will overnight in Independence, Mason City, Waverly and other communities when they make the 418-mile trek July 20-26.
Buchanan County officials say they can reasonably assume at least some will require medical attention.
During the bike ride in 2007, the hospital in Independence served an additional 90 patients - most succumbing to heat-related ailments.
During a typical day, the emergency room sees between 20 and 30 patients.
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