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Acontroversy over RAGBRAIvendors has led two Iowa counties to consider rulesbanning the sale of food and drink along rural stretches of the route— stoking fears that the changes could alter the very nature of the iconic bicycle ride.

On May 1, the Monona County Board of Supervisors, citing safety concerns, approved an ordinance barring special use permits for RAGBRAI vendors in the unincorporated parts of the county. Officials there say they wanted to keep riders from stopping along the western Iowa county's winding country roads.

But another issue has been brewing: Some vendors who pay for the privilege of setting up within city limits have grumbled about operators that set up shop outside of towns, oftentimes at little or no charge. Those businesses can steal away traffic, jeopardizing the profits inside the towns that have spent thousands of dollars and months preparing for the ride.


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