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Johnston man takes on duties of Captain America for first RAGBRAI

  • 21 July, 2019
  • Anna Spoerre

AVOCA, Ia. — Don Cunningham drew attention all Sunday morning.

“Make it happen, Captain,” an Iowa State Patrol trooper said as Cunningham walked his bike past in search of his team’s bus. The 53-year-old from Johnston was clad in a Captain America shirt. He held a red, white and blue shield.

“It was pretty cool, and then the hills kicked in,” the Johnston man, who retired from John Deere on Wednesday, said of the frequent comments about his outfit.

But when it was time to power up a hill, the first-time participant on the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa wasn’t so keen on talking.

Cunningham found his Team Honey Badgers bus parked along the street in Avoca and started scarfing down a walking taco: a Doritos bag filled with taco meat and topped with fixins’.

Team Honey Badgers has about 28 members, 22 of whom dressed up for what they called Superhero Sunday.

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Cunningham’s Captain America joined Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Robin and the Powerpuff Girls.

Thor, who threw his fist-wielding hammer in the air at the sound of his name, was a crowd-pleaser.

But Cunningham’s costume was popular, too. The Army veteran would salute those who cheered his name.

But being a superhero for a day isn’t all fun and games.

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Cunningham said he also witnessed two accidents on his way to Avoca.

A man fell off his bike ahead of him and hit his head.

Cunningham jumped off his bicycle, tossed aside the shield he’d been riding with and started directing traffic away from the accident as EMT’s arrived.

“At that point, it’s not about Captain America,” he said.

RAGBRAI 2019 Day 1 photos: Council Bluffs to Atlantic

RAGBRAI 2019 Day 1 photos: Council Bluffs to Atlantic

1 Comment

  1. Don Cunningham

    Awesome write up Anna – Thank you!

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