In Memorium: Mr.Pork Chop

It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of another RAGBRAI legend — Mr. Pork Chop.

I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Paul Bernhard during RAGBRAI 42 in Bancroft. After a morning of riding, I was getting hungry for lunch and was looking for a place to eat. Lo and behold, I smelled grilling pork chops and then spotted the pink bus with the pig ears. I knew I had reached Nirvana. I stood in line and purchased a little bit of heaven.

While searching for a shady spot to eat, I spotted an empty chair in the town’s gazebo. As I pulled up a seat and polished off my chop, I marveled at the crowd surrounding someone sitting in a wheelchair in the middle of the gazebo, much like a king on his throne. When I inquired who the object of attention was, I was informed that this was Mr. Pork Chop himself. He was holding court, sharing stories, shaking hands with everyone and chatting with total strangers as if he had known them all of his life. I was impressed with his indomitable spirit and gregarious personality. When I had the chance to speak with Paul, I congratulated him upon achieving the status of “RAGBRAI legend” and handing the mantle to his son. In turn, he said he was glad to see a youngster (I was 61 at the time) riding RAGBRAI. After more small talk, we exchanged best wishes and then I rode off as Paul was wheeled off of the gazebo.

I wish to express my sincerest condolences to Mr. Pork Chop’s family. In his honor and memory, I shall proudly wear my pig hat visor under my helmet in RAGBRAI 45.

Farewell and rest easy, Mr. Pork Chop!

16 Replies

RDaryl Daryl, November 16, 2016 at 8:15 pm

Me thinks there should be a “Mr Pork Chop Day” on XLV


igor, November 17, 2016 at 8:08 am

That’s a great idea to have a Mr Pork Chop day on XLV!


Amanda, November 17, 2016 at 8:22 am

I love the idea of a Mr Pork Chop day! TJ- thoughts?


SFC JKL 2, November 17, 2016 at 10:45 pm

Best wishes to the Bernhard family.
Love the idea of a Mr Pork Chop day.


“Bicycle Bill”, November 18, 2016 at 1:15 am

Too bad RAGBRAI has so much stuff — logo, jersey design, and probably patch design — that has to be done so far in advance or I’d suggest renaming the 2017 RAGBRAI the “Mr. Pork Chop Memorial Ride” — similar to the “Clarence Pickard Memorial Ride” on RAGBRAI XI in 1983.

But just as we had a “Bob Breedlove Day” on RAGBRAI XXXIII in 2005 after he tragically died in a car/bike accident while participating in RAAM, and there was a “Carter LeBeau Day” a couple of years ago (RAGBRAI XLII) after his passing, it is only right and proper that there be a “Mr. Pork Chop Day” on RAGBRAI XLV and I add my voice to those calling for one.



mootsman, November 18, 2016 at 5:35 am

Plenty of time for a Mr. Pork Chop/RAGBRAI memorial T-shirt though.

If the Bernhard family & the RAGBRAI people like the idea that is.


GetAClue Blue, November 30, 2016 at 10:00 am

I’ve bragged about those pork chops every year since my first one on the 2012 RAGBRAI. Sad to hear of his passing.


Sandaltan ., November 30, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Plans are in the works to honor Mr. Pork Chop. I had a suggestion but too late to do anything with the RAGBRAI jersey.



Jason Stoller, December 22, 2016 at 11:22 pm

Mr. Pork Chop was one of the highlights of Ragbrai for me every year. I sure hope they do something special to honor him.



Michrider !!!, December 23, 2016 at 4:23 pm

In Honor of Mr. Porkchop, I will sit in the shade, eat a porkchop and toast Mr. PC with a cold Budweiser!!!


Ragbrai Nation, January 14, 2017 at 3:44 pm

I’ll never forget walking the last mile into Bancroft two years ago because the road was so choked with bicycles. But not a sole grumbled. We so loved coming to your town Mr. Pork Chop on that beautiful Tuesday morning. May ye rest in peace, fellow Iowan.


prince page, January 14, 2017 at 5:37 pm

who was mr pork chop? he must have liked pork chops a lot ha ha!!


T. Gap Woo, January 14, 2017 at 9:33 pm

prince page: who was mr pork chop?

May I respectfully suggest that you go to the home page of this website, go to the section “Latest Blog posts” and scroll to the right and read these two posts: “‘Mr. Pork Chop’ leaves behind meaty RAGBRAI legacy” and “We Will Miss You Mr. Pork Chop!” Then you will understand the magnitude of the loss that the posters on this thread and all of RAGBRAI in general feel.


Michrider !!!, January 15, 2017 at 11:18 am

prince page: who was mr pork chop? he must have liked pork chops a lot ha ha!!

He liked Pork Chops so much that he cooked tons of them for us to enjoy!!!

BGW, RAGBRAI don’t care!!!


Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)

The forum ‘RAGBRAI XLV – 2017’ is closed to new topics and replies.





Gatherings & Meetings

Lost and Found


Clubs, Teams & Charters

Friends of RAGBRAI