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Cycling legend honored with first ever RAGBRAI gravel loop

  • 20 July, 2015

POMEROY, Ia. – A special sticker is the symbol to remember a passionate cycling advocate who died outside his own bike wheel business last year. The riders who chose to brave the first-ever RAGBRAI gravel loop Monday morning helped honor Steve Hed – who was formerly of HED Cycling and a man who loved biking on gravel.

Taking the gravel loop was the only way to visit the 662-population town of Pomeroy, where the Hed family set up a tent to hand out stickers.

“My dad, Steve, said anyone who does the gravel loop (he) would personally place a sticker on anyone’s bike who does it, so that was really the motivation for coming out today,” said Steve’s son, Andrew Hed, 19. “We have custom stickers in dedication to my dad.”

Steve Hed died in November 2014 at the age of 59. HED Cycling is known for creating tires designed for riding on gravel roads. Steve, a legend in the cycling world, had asked about adding a gravel day to RAGBRAI. The optional gravel loop was added after his sudden collapse last year.

Riders braved the first ever gravel loop on Day 2 of RAGBRAI.

Riders braved the first ever gravel loop on Day 2 of RAGBRAI.

The Hed family and a few employees from HED Cycling set up a tent in downtown Pomeroy to greet riders who rode the loop.

“We’re so happy to be here,” Anne said.

Riders could stop by the tent, fill their tires and sign a cloth that said, “I survived the gravel,” to give to the family.

Cycling has been the center of the family. Anne Hed met her late husband because he was her first sponsor for a ride. And the family still love to bike. Anne even hopes to grow the business.

VIDEO: RAGBRAI’s first ever gravel loop

The family planned on riding the loop themselves once the riders had passed through Pomeroy.

And after they enjoyed one of Pomeroy’s “really good” apple turnovers, as Anne described them.

But before they took on the loop, Andrew and sister, Rebecca Hed, 16, made sure to hand out stickers to every rider who came through town.

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