RAGBRAI mural welcomes riders back

By Kate Hayden, khayden@charlescitypress.com

RAGBRAI riders are no strangers to Charles City’s streets, and a temporary new mural is welcoming back those visitors.

Charles City High School graduate Olivia Ayers spent the hours between work and other commitments painting the 2002 Charles City RAGBRAI logo on Main Street, across from Aromas. Stars bearing every year Charles City has welcomed RAGBRAI — 1977, 1982, 1996, 2002, 2010 and 2017 — line the right side of the canvas.

“With weather and work, [it’s taken] two weeks,” Ayers said on Tuesday, as she made final details and touched up smudges in the paint.

Ayers’ parents assisted, sketching chalk lines to keep the icon lined straight across the storefront covering, she said. This is her first time making a public mural, although she was always involved in the art department before graduating high school in 2017.

Ayers was approached by the Charles City Do-Gooders Club to create the roughly ten-foot wall mural out of house paint.

“It’s just good people doing good things,” Ayers said of the club.

The club has been around about six months, member Jim Davis said.

“The purpose is to try and make small enhancements to the community,” Davis said. “We can’t fix everything, but we can fix some things.”

The club is open to suggestions on future projects, he added.

“We’re making this up as we go. We want to do something good, and we want to have fun,” Davis said.

Ayers and Davis will both be in the midst of welcoming RAGBRAI riders to town on Wednesday — Ayers will be monitoring the showers at the Lions Field Pool, where she is a lifeguard, and Davis will be janitor and greeter at Aromas while the baristas keep up with the expected high demand, he said.

Anyone interested in being involved in the Do-Gooders Club could likely find Davis at Aromas in the mornings, or call him at 641-228-1515.