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90-year-old rider inspires many who stop for photos

  • 26 July, 2017
  • Kim Norvell

ROCKWELL, Ia. – Lucy Bonham is taking her 25th trip across the state on a bicycle.

She started her first Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa at 65 years old when it passed through her hometown of Washington. Her plan was to do one RAGBRAI, but “I got hooked bad,” she said.

Now, barely two weeks into her 90th trip around the sun, she says this will likely be her last RAGBRAI.

“For crying out loud, how healthy can I stay?” she said.

Her age has inspired hordes of riders who stopped here to take selfies with Bonham and talk biking. Many who stopped said they admired her tenacity and spirit and hope to follow in her footsteps as they age.

“It’s humbling,” she said. “I can’t believe it.”

Bonham rides alone and her husband, Jack, drives as support. He outfitted her bike with a sign listing her age a few years ago. That helps riders recognize her, but she thinks it also keeps her safe on the route. Bikers give her room that way, she said.

She’ll ride the entire RAGBRAI route this year as a goodbye of sorts, though she’s understandably giving herself a little breathing room.

“If I get every mile in? I’m not sure,” Bonham said. “But I’ll be out every day.”

1 Comment

  1. Daniel Hautman

    I met Lucy on three Ragbrai rides and her husband on one. She is my inspiration to continue. This year, at 79, I’m signed up already. I can’t let a couple minor strokes me down. Thank God for the Lucys of the world.

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