During the ride last week, there was a new twist: Friday was designated “College Spirit Day” and riders wore jerseys from their alma maters as they biked from Grinnell (home to Grinnell College) to Coralville.

“Throughout the day, I saw dozens and dozens of colleges represented on jerseys. It was great ... one minute a University of Arizona jersey, the next a North Dakota jersey,” columnist Ted Schultz wrote in the Clinton Herald.

Grinnell College was a major hub of activity on Thursday, as hundreds of cyclists spent the night in the dorms, ate in the dining halls or showered in the athletic center.

(Gus Moreno, Grinnell Class of 1980, poses near a cyclist tent camp on the Iowa university’s campus last week. (Photo courtesy of Misha Ghadiri))