Several Grace members participated in the RAGBRAI bicycle ride across the state of Iowa this summer. RAGBRAI, The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, is the oldest, largest and longest

bicycle touring event in the world. Approximately 30,000 bike riders bike across the state of Iowa, with our team from Grace joining for the last three days (through the eastern half of the state).

Riders in the picture (all Grace Church members) are left to right: Richard Feldges (Professional SAG Driver), Tim Wooldridge, Jim Moore (Professional Asst. SAG Driver), Tim Cenova, and Max Ryan. Team members missing from photo are: Ted Sward, Andy Miller, Lucian Biesiedecki, and Ron Ryan. Grace members Tom Petrie and Myron Peck hoped to join, but had to cancel due to last minute work conflicts.

Team member Ron Ryan credits Myron Peck for putting this group together about eight years ago. The cyclists get together throughout the year for informal training rides.

“Biking is all about fellowship, food, and exercise (in that order),” explains Ron. He adds that RAGBRAI is known for its great food, including pork chops, corn on the cob, homemade ice cream, pies, breakfast burritos and pancakes. “We typically ride about 200-plus miles, yet gain weight on the ride… I gained four pounds last year!

Although RAGBRAI is a bicycle ride and not a race, it’s not always a joy ride. Ron was involved in a crash this year as he was heading down a slope at about 20 miles an hour. The result was a concussion, six fractured ribs and a broken collar bone. Despite the pain, Ron says he and the group plan to ride again next year.

RAGBRAI started in 1973 as a six-day ride across the state of Iowa by two Des Moines Register columnists who invited a few friends along. It is held the last full week in July. RAGBRAI is planned and coordinated by The Des Moines Register, and riders who participate in RAGBRAI understand that they do so at their own risk.

The RAGBRAI route averages 468 miles and is not necessarily flat. It begins somewhere along Iowa’s western border on the Missouri River and ends along the eastern border on the Mississippi River. The event is seven days of riding with an average of 67 miles per day through the Iowa countryside.

Visit the RAGBRAI website to learn more about this event.

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