bicycling

Katie Peikes / IPR

A group of conservationists is embarking on a four-day scenic bike tour through western Iowa’s Loess Hills region. The tour, which starts Thursday, is designed to get people out to this rare landform and recognize its value.

MissLLJ/Flickr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Iowa City is moving forward with its first-ever bike share. On Tuesday, the council authorized the city to contract with a company called Gotcha to roll out a program city leaders say will help meet the needs of low income residents and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Pedaling Through Adversity

Jul 26, 2019

 

Host Ben Kieffer continues his trek across Iowa on RAGBRAI. Thursday's ride took bikers 68 miles from Centerville to Fairfield.

On this episode of the limited-run Bike Shorts podcast, Kieffer interviews several people about how adversity inspired their participation in the ride. Sisters Abbie Buscher and Ellie Larsen talk about biking to honor and remember their late mother. Larry Jewell shares how his goal to ride RAGBRAI got him through treatment for stage 4 cancer.

We also meet a unicyclist on the route and ask the question, "Where ya from?"

Host Ben Kieffer caputures day four of RAGBRAI as thousands of riders travel from Indianola to Centerville, which is the longest ride of the week. 

Kieffer also reflects on Tuesday afternoon, when two bikers crashed into each other coming down a steep hill into Indianola.  Both riders were flown out to hospitals and were reported to be in critical condition. Kieffer talks with former Des Moines Register columnist, Kyle Munson, about past RAGBRAI accidents and the importance of understanding safe cycling.  

Host Ben Kieffer takes us through his experiences on day three of RAGBRAI starting in Winterset, traveling through South Central Iowa, crossing over Interstate 35 to the eastern side of the state and finishing in Indianola. 

Host Ben Kieffer captures sounds and experiences on day two of RAGBRAI starting in Atlantic, passing hundreds of wind turbines along the Iowa countryside and finished with a pie-eating contest in Winterset. The fourth annual "Rhubarb Rumble" pie eating relay pits Team NPR (No Pie Refused) against the Des Moines Register. You'll hear from IPR's own Clay Masters, Kyle Munson and Courtney Crowder of the Des Moines Register, and of course, Scott Horsely (aka Fork Guy) of Team NPR.

Host Ben Kieffer takes us through preparations for RAGBRAI 2019, from loading up, to locating NPR's team "No Pie Refused," in Council Bluffs. We hear how teams are handling the storms and significant rain on Sunday, a 58 mile ride to Atlantic. Along the way we meet a 93-year-old doing his 7th RAGBRAI, and a couple rollerblading the 427 miles across Iowa.

Dave Herholz / Flickr

The Des Moines Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, known as RAGBRAI, is just days away.  The recreational bicycle tour will take place July 21 through July 27 where about 10,000 registered riders from all 50 states and some international will travel through Iowa. 

Kate Payne/IPR file

Organizers in the southeast Iowa community of Burlington don’t anticipate any flooding issues to impact the city’s RAGBRAI plans. That’s after the Mississippi swamped parts of the town's downtown earlier this year

Cyclists ride across the High Trestle Trail bridge near Madrid, Iowa.
Phil Roeder / Flickr

A plan to create a nationwide trail network for hiking and cycling includes a winding route through Iowa, from Davenport to Council Bluffs. The Great American Rail Trail was mapped out by the non-profit Rail Trail Conservancy and builds off of the state’s existing trail network.

Flickr

Iowa averages around seven bicycle crash fatalities per year. Tragically, three cyclists have lost their lives in the past two weeks alone. What can we do as drivers and cyclists to prevent these tragedies, and what can Iowa lawmakers do to protect the Iowans we share our roads with?

MissLLJ/Flickr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Cedar Rapids is kicking off its first bike share program today, coinciding with Bike to Work Week, a national push to encourage cycling. Supporters hope the service will make Cedar Rapids more accessible and attractive to residents and and visitors.

Steve Cannon

Over rivers and mountains covered in ice, snow, and dirt, the goal is to get to Nome, Alaska and finish "The Last Great Race on Earth." The Iditarod is an annual 1000 mile long race, and while it is primarily run by mushers with teams of sled dogs, it's also become an incredible challenge for cyclists. 

Michael Leland/IPR file photo

This year is ending as one of the deadliest for Iowa bicyclists in more than a decade.  The Iowa Bicycle Coalition says 11 cyclists died while riding this year.  Iowa hasn’t had that many cycling fatalities since 2005, and it’s the most since 2010, when eight cyclists died while riding.  The Coalition’s executive director, Mark Wyatt, says he fears this year is not an anomaly.

7th Groove / Flickr

Iowa City is preparing to host an international sporting event that will be televised live around the world: the UCI World Cup of Cyclocross. John Meehan is a pediatric surgeon in Iowa City and the director for the Jingle Cross. He says cyclocross is different than a typical bike race.

Michael Leland/IPR

A Democratic state senator says he’s hopeful the Iowa Legislature will take action next year to help make the state’s roads safer for cycling.  Nine people have died while biking in the state so far this year.  The latest death occurred last week, when a cyclist was struck from behind while riding in southwest Iowa.   Senator Joe Bolkcom of Coralville says he feels distracted drivers are part of the problem, and he thinks the legislature will consider ways to address that.

Iowa Department of Public Safety

An increase in bicycle fatalities on Iowa roadways this year has cyclists and public safety officials concerned, and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau has launched a public awareness campaign to address the problem.    

The Iowa Bicycle Coalition says already this year there have been nine fatalities, more than in any year since 2010.    

That includes the death of a RAGBRAI cyclist early Sunday morning.

Governor Branstad says his administration will be recommending ways to address distracted and drunk driving, and that includes bicycle safety.

An assistant Iowa attorney general is calling on state lawmakers to take action next session on laws to protect bicyclists on Iowa roadways. Iowa Assistant Attorney General Pete Grady says current law makes it nearly impossible to prove recklessness in cases where drivers hit bicyclists. 

At present, Grady says prosecutors need to show the vehicle operators knew their actions would cause harm.

"I don’t think anyone would define reckless behavior as requiring a better than 50 percent outcome for danger or harm, but that’s the standard we have here in Iowa," he says. 

Kari Nousiainen / Flickr, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

On Sunday morning, August 16th, three days after his 41st birthday, Wade Franck was hit by a drunk driver while riding in the Urban Assault Ride in Des Moines. His girlfriend, Jess Rundlett was behind him as the car approached, going very fast.

"It nearly hit me. I remember feeling the mirror whiz by my elbow, and by the time I thought to yell to Wade a warning, he had already been hit and was flying through the air," Rundlett says. "He was hit so hard that his shoes were knocked off and he flew about 30 feet."

Wade Franck died two days later.

Courtesy of Jingle Cross

Iowa City is home to one of the nation's largest cyclo-cross events, and the race will now become a World Cup event for the sport. Jingle Cross, which founder John Meehan organized for the first time in 2002, will be held at the Johnson County Fairgrounds September 22-25, 2016. 

Meehan says that even though cyclo-cross is a relatively new sport in Iowa, it's a great spectator event. 

Flickr

The death of a central Iowa cyclist in a drunk driving accident last month has sparked a conversation among bikers and motorists about keeping cyclists safe on our state’s roadways.

Mark Wyatt, Executive Director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, says that while Iowa has three to five cycling deaths per year, if you compare that on a per capita basis, we’re not having fewer accidents than anywhere else.

Flickr / David Wade Couch

The Iowa bicycling community will be closely watching a court trial in Benton County tomorrow. Cyclist Matt Phippen was biking on a country road back in March. He says the driver of a white Dodge pickup truck passed him in an aggressively close manner.

Steven Payne, the driver of the pickup, was fined for the incident. He refuses to pay the $270 in fees and therefore is headed to court. 

courtesy of Dr. Beasley

There's two sports that are about as different from each other as you can get, but who have dedicated participants for life: bicycling and archery.

Ironman John Little

Dec 6, 2013
Property of John Little.

While most of us were enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers, 61-year-old Iowa City resident John Little was completing his 13th Ironman Triathlon in Cozumel, an island off the Yucatan Peninsula.

An Ironman Triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, followed by a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and ends with a marathon, which is a 26.2-mile (42.2 km) run. There are no breaks between each leg of the race. Host Ben Kieffer sits down with Little to discuss his extreme hobby, which he took up at the age of 55.

Biking in Iowa

Sep 16, 2013

Cool, crisp air, beautiful fall foliage, great trails and great restaurants, autumn is a wonderful time to go for a long bike ride.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with travel writer Jennifer Wilson about bicycling destinations in Iowa.

Eric Allix Rogers / reallyboring / Flickr

The advent of automobiles brought increased mobility to Americans, but cars also created suburban sprawl and isolation.  Host Ben Kieffer looks at new urbanism, a movement that cultivates qualities found in older communities like walkability and connectivity.

University of Iowa Press / James Landenberger

There is no substitute for seeing a soaring red tailed hawk, circling turkey vulture or bald eagle snatching a fish out of a river, but the paintings of the late James Landenberger capture some of the majesty of these moments.  Talk of Iowa talks about Iowa's birds of prey with Jon Stravers, is the the Driftless Area Coordinator for the National Audubon Society's

RAGBRAI's 40th Year

Jul 18, 2012
Eva Ekeblad / flickr

RAGBRAI XL, the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, rolls out of Sioux Center on Sunday.  On today's program, we talk about why this event has endured for forty years, why people from all over the world flock here to bike across Iowa in July, and we reminisce about RAGBRAI's past with Chuck Offenburger.

This summer RAGBRAI will roll across Iowa for the 40th time and right now bicycle enthusiasts are converging on Des Moines for the Iowa Bicycle Summit. This year’s RAGBRAI route won’t be announced until Saturday (Jan. 28), but we will get a preview of RAGBRAI 40 from the event's Director, T.J. Juskiewicz. We'll also talk about biking in Iowa with Mark Wyatt, Ex. Director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition and Nick Sobocinski, also with the Coalition and Program Director of "Safe Routes to School."