Perry-area bikers brave heat, truck risks for RAGBRAI 44

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Perry-area RAGBRAI riders include, front row from left, Bob Wilson, Jodi Coons, Mike Peterson and Tonia Peterson; middle row from left, Michelle Leonard, Jordan DeSilvey, Regina Sonesschmidt, Cesar Chavez and Lupita Chavez; back row from left, Joe Scheib, Lee Coons and Alex Jacobsen. Photo courtesy Jodi Renee Fick-Coons

leon water tower
Photo courtesy Leo Landis

Many Perry-area bicyclists are in the midst of RAGBRAI XLIV this week, the 44th annual Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. Riders stopped in Leon Tuesday for the third night of the seven-day-and-six-night trek.

Monday night’s stopover spot was Creston. Wednesday’s route includes an optional tour around Rathbun Lake, with an overnight stay in Centerville.

The ride started Sunday with the Glenwood-to-Shenandoah leg. In a freakish and tragic coincidence, two Jacksonville, Fla., men were struck by pickup trucks in separate accidents Sunday.

Wayne Ezell, 72, of Jacksonville, was killed when he was struck from behind by a pickup truck on U.S. Highway 34 near the ride’s start in Glenwood. James Foley, 67, also of Jacksonville, was asleep in a Shenandoah campground when a pickup truck left the roadway and struck him, dragging Foley and the tent he was sleeping in more than 50 feet and seriously injuring him.

Ezell and Foley knew one another. The accidents otherwise appear to be unrelated.

Authorities are investigating the death of Ezell. In the Foley case, a Louisiana man has been charged with serious injury by vehicle and leaving the scene of a serious injury accident. He is being held in the Fremont County Jail on $50,000 bond.

“Iowa is not flat,” said Jodi Renee Fick-Coons of Perry. “Shenandoah to Creston is the worst hills ever.”

ThePerryNews.com will update this story as information becomes available.

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"Quiet Mile" is the name given to the sretch of RAGBRAI route dedicated to riders injured and killed in the year since the previous RAGBRAI. One cyclist was killed and another injured in Sunday on RAGBRAI XLIV's first leg. Photo courtesy Chuck Offenberger
“Quiet Mile” is the name given to the sretch of RAGBRAI route dedicated to riders injured and killed in the year since the previous RAGBRAI. One cyclist was killed and another injured Sunday on RAGBRAI XLIV’s first leg. Photo courtesy Chuck Offenberger

1 COMMENT

  1. John Hanson, who passed away in June, has ridden many RAGBRAIs over the years and was a lifelong Perry resident. I know many people in Perry miss seeing him ride his bicycle around town.

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