Sea of riders and tents forming in Rock Valley

The long anticipated flood has finally arrived in Rock Valley.

After a slow start this morning, the asphalt downtown is disappearing beneath a sea of bike jerseys, food carts, merchandise tents and festive faces at the 2014 RAGBRAI Expo.

A steady rush of cyclists ramped up around 3 p.m., according  to organizers.

With it comes a sigh of relief for many in town who feared this day was wiped out of their future when unprecedented flood waters surged over the same streets one month ago.

“We literally needed this to get over the flood,” said Nicole Roder, member of the local RAGBRAI committee and principal at Rock Valley Middle School and High School.

Trips have begun to the river for the ceremonial dipping of the back tire and camp tents are popping up beside an impressive avenue of flags through downtown.

Come rain, wind or high water, RAGBRAI 2014 is underway.

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