The Route Announcement Party for RAGBRAI XLIX had three empty chairs on January 28. It was the first such event without any of its “founders.” That shortlist includes Don Kaul, Don Benson, and, of course, John Karras.

Prior to the announcement of the overnight communities, Keep Iowa Beautiful representative Tim Lane addressed the national audience with thousands in-person and streaming.

His remarks remembered John Karras as an avid cyclist and passionate outdoorsman and highlighted the new “Karras Cart” initiative will continue his legacy. Communities across the state will receive bicycle cart attachments for easier litter removal on trails!

Adding to the excitement of an announcement, four carts were officially awarded to their communities: One new cart was donated to Des Moines’ Racoon River Trail by Iowa’s preeminent cancer physician Dr. Richard Deming. Another cart crafted by Dimond Bicycle was donated to the Parks and Recreation Department of Emmetsburg. Two more carts were donated to the Cedar Valley Cyclists and cyclists in Sac City. Those at the Iowa Events Center that night saw firsthand the growing fleet (pictured below)!

More have supported these efforts through the two RAYGUN t-shirt designs with famous Karras quotes that continue to be for sale (pictured to the right), with a portion of proceeds benefitting Keep Iowa Beautiful. More information is coming soon about future events to continue honoring Karras and placing Karras Carts throughout Iowa!