Being from Utah and LDS, I found many of the same family values as those we enjoy within the Church. I saw one mom riding the ride with her 8-month-old baby in a trailer. My favorite was a family of five on a five-seat tandem. I wanted to take a picture of them, but I could never catch up to them. They had five pairs of legs, and I only had one.
In my group was a grandfather, Jim Wilson, who had his 10-year-old grandson Caleb with him. Caleb’s father was bitten a year ago with a mosquito with West Nile Virus and is not able to walk now, so Jim stepped in to give Caleb the ride of his life. I was so touched by this grandfather, who had so much compassion to share an incredible journey like this with his grandson.
Our bus rode along with the riders, and because Caleb was so young, Jim rode with him in the bus sometimes after Caleb was worn out for the day. I rode with them a couple of times to keep them company and was delighted to spend time with both of them.
There is one of every bike you can imagine. The most popular is the upright road bike, but I have seen handicapped riders pedaling with their hands. I have seen many handicapped riders, who adapted the bicycles to work for them. One man was sitting on a bench pedaling with his hands while his wife rode in tandem and pedaled with her feet.
When I first went, someone pulled my aside and said, “You will see four things on this ride. You will see corn on the right and soybeans on the left; you will also see corn on the left and soybeans on the right. Then there will be times when you will see corn on the right and left and soybeans on the right and left.” There proved to be a lot of truth in that tongue-in-cheek statement.
Fields were producing corn and soybeans in abundance.
What I can tell you is that Iowa is a great state with lots of lush greenery and some of the most down-to-earth people you can ever imagine. Riding through this state is such an adventure that I plan on making it an annual trek