A little bit of Grinnell Anticipation

  • 27 July, 2011

ALLEMAN —  It’s an Iowa homecoming for three RAGBRAI riders, excited to hit Grinnell, Thursday.

Andy Strauss, 51, Charlie Simon, 52, and Benjamin Simon, 54 cool off on some church steps in Alleman. The trio are more than thrilled to roll through Grinnell, Thursday.

Andy Strauss, 51 who now resides in Pennsylvania said he hasn’t been to the corn state in since 1987. This ride is special for him and his two companions because they’ll finally return as alum to their campus – Grinnell College.

“It’s a special, special place,” Strauss said. “It’s a very unique college.”

This year also marks the 30th anniversary of a rather tedious ride for Strauss. He cycled from Grinnell‘s campus to Alaska three decades ago. Riding RABRAI was a way for him to commemorate that challenging feat, and see the rest of the state in the process.

Though the three said they decided to ride because the route goes through Grinnell.

Strauss is riding with two other friends he made during his time at school, brothers, Benjamin Simon, 54, and Charlie Simon, 52, who now live in Virginia and Michigan respectively. Neither brother has been back to Iowa since the early 1980s.

All three men describe this trip as a homecoming and are excited to see how the college has changed since their time there in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The trio will also attend a reception at the College, Thursday, with 70 other alum and faculty who are cycling across the state.

“It was a great experience there,” Benjamin Simon said, smiling. “An informed experience too.”

–Katie Stinson


  1. jane

    yep, i know they’ll meet my girl, a 2008 graduate. she loves grinnell too. maybe she’ll go to Alaska in 30 years! What a great experience.

  2. Joyce Wells

    We rode RAGBRAi in 1999 and again in 2001 and started with the local Grinnell bike shop and Craig & April Smith. Grinnell wis and always will be a special place. Enjoy your return to the college and a great little American town!

  3. Rod

    Congratulations, guys! I look forward to meeting you in Grinnell tomorrow night. Welcome… home.

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