On the road again: Milan man honored by RAGBRAI

Posted Online: Jan. 31, 2013, 9:27 pm
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By Steve Tappa, stappa@qconline.com
The announcement of this summer's RAGBRAI route was more than just a boon for eight southern Iowa towns last weekend.

The Quad Cities Bicycle Club's own Dean Mathias was pleasantly surprised, too.

The Milan man was among the first recipients of the inaugural Special Recognition Award from the (Des Moines) Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa.1

RAGBRAI Director T.J. Juskiewicz made the presentation before revealing this year's route at the Iowa Bike Expo. More than 1,000 cycling enthusiasts attended the route announcement celebration, and thousands more were watching on a live feed online.

"We wanted to honor 'Bareback' for epitomizing the RAGBRAI spirit of helping and encouraging other cyclists," Juskiewicz said, calling the award the RAGBRAI equivalent of college football's Heisman Trophy. "Dean has always been one to jump off the bike and help those in need. We just wanted to honor him for all that he has done to help RAGBRAI keep rolling along."

Among other things, Mathias coordinates the QCBC's annual charter to RAGBRAI. Juskiewicz added that Mathias has "stopped to help those in need of mechanical, physical and mental breakdowns" for more than two decades on RAGBRAI while riding the entire route on a custom-built bicycle without a seat (hence the nickname).

RAGBRAI begins in late July in Council Bluffs, with stops this year in Harlan, Perry, Des Moines, Knoxville, Oskaloosa and Fairfield before ending at the Mississippi River in Fort Madison.

A cold one: The 32nd annual B-rrry Scurry takes off in chilly temperatures Saturday, starting and finishing at Clinton Community College. The four-mile road race starts at noon and helps fund scholarships at the school.

New for 2013, a $100 bonus is offered for those breaking the course record in their gender — 20:15 for the men; 23:21 for the women.

All participants receive the event's originally designed Tech race shirt.

Special medallions are awarded in 13 age divisions for both men and women. Free child care, door prizes, a goodie bag, free post-race refreshments (the B-rrry Buffet) and a post-race party indoors also are perks.

Legend's Sports Bar hosts the party from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Free beer and pop are provided to all finishers.

Free post-race showers are available at the YWCA. The awards ceremony is in the college auditorium.

Packet pickup and race day registration runs 9:30-11:30 a.m.

For more information, call Ann Eisenman at (563) 244-7040.

Chilly, too: The QC Women's Outdoor Club is going snowmobiling Saturday with the Scott County Sno Seekers. The fun runs from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. in North Liberty, Iowa.

The club is providing a potluck lunch; the Sno Seekers provide the snowmobiles and helmets, but if you have your own helmet, please bring it.

The cost for club members is a charitable donation. Please register on the club website, qcwoc.com.

For more details, including joining the club and signing up for events, please contact Kelly Fleener by phone at (309) 798-9345 or email events@qcwoc.com.

The other kind of Chili: QC's Friends of Off-Road Cycling hosts a Chili Cook-Off and membership drive on Saturday. The event starts at 4:30 p.m. at the Front Street Brewery at Davenport's Freight House.

The club is dedicated to the local trail-riding experience.

For more details, or to RSVP for this event, visit the website qcforc.org.

Also Saturday: Joe Taylor is more than the president of the QC Convention & Visitors Bureau. He's also a loyal reader of this column and a huge hiker in the area. Taylor notes the Black Hawk Hiking Club's next jaunt is 2:30 p.m. Saturday on the Hennepin Canal in Colona. Anyone interested in getting some exercise is invited to join the hike. For information on joining the club, now in its 93rd year, please call (309) 496-9024.


Local events heading

  Today is Saturday, Sept. 20, the 263rd day of 2014. There are 102 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Recruits can get $500 by enlisting now. Lt Jobe has a recruiting office on Illinois Street.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Superintendent Schnitger formally inaugurated the Rock Island and Davenport Railway Line of the Holmes system by putting on four cars to start.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Wires of the defunct Union Electric Co. are being removed by city electricians.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The Bishop Hill softball team won the championship in WHB"S Mississippi Valley tournament at Douglas Park.
1964 -- 50 years ago: A boom in apartment construction has hit Rock Island, with approximately 300 units either in or near the construction stage or due for an early rezoning decision.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Members of the Bi-State Metropolitan Planning Commission are hoping to revive their push for a new $70 million four-lane bridge spanning the Mississippi River.

(More History)