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The Great Iowa Fall Ride is the latest coronavirus casualty.

Organized by the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa team and host town Iowa Falls, the Fall Ride, which had been planned for Oct. 2-4, was supposed to feature paved and gravel trails that wound cyclists through Central Iowa, giving them views of the Hawkeye State’s fall colors.

But plans were scrapped Wednesday due to safety concerns amid the still-spreading coronavirus pandemic.

As with RAGBRAI, which canceled this year for the first time in its nearly 50-ride history, the decision to call off the fall ride came as planning deadlines loomed.

“It's really unfortunate that we're having to do this again, but it's just the right thing to do,” Dieter Drake, ride director, said in a news release. “2020 is just not a great time for events.”

The announcement came on the heels of Virtual RAGBRAI, a series of online events and digital challenges that allowed bicyclists to share stories of their at-home pedaling adventures during the originally scheduled week of RAGBRAI.

Drake said his team will now shift their focus to preparing RAGBRAI XLVIII, which will be held July 25-31, 2021.

The overnight towns, announced in January, and the meeting towns, revealed during virtual RAGBRAI, will remain on the 2021 route.

Courtney Crowder, the Register's Iowa Columnist, traverses the state's 99 counties telling Iowans' stories. She's a parallel parking master acquainting herself with gravel roads. Reach her at ccrowder@dmreg.com or 515-284-8360. Follow her on Twitter @courtneycare.

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