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RAGBRAI 2012: Vernie: Oxford Junction's premier cyclist

  • 28 July, 2012
  • Grant Rodgers

Vernie Shedek, 95

Oxford Junction, Ia. – No rider passing through Oxford Junction knows the streets of the small town like Vernie Shedek.

Shedek, 95, has lived in Oxford Junction his whole life. He’s a regular sight on the town’s roads, using his bike as his primary transportation around town.

He rides daily to the town’s senior citizen center for coffee. Today, he made his way downtown to greet passing riders.

He’s not a long distance rider, he says, and has about a 3 mile limit before he’s through.

But staying on the bike might just be the key to his good health.

“It keeps me going,” he said.

It’s not uncommon to see Shedek on his bike two or three times a day, said neighbor Sheila Moore, 34. In addition to his cycling he keeps a garden “religiously,” she said.

Though he worked as a carpenter in the town throughout his life, he’s “crossed both oceans,” serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he said.

Today, he continues his patriotic duty by caring for all the town’s flags, said resident Marlene Flory, 77, a reporter for three local newspapers.

When the flags need to be lowered or cared for, Shedek’s the man for the job.

Like any other cyclist, riding has been a little tougher for him this summer due to the heat, Shedek said. His few words sum the situation up well.

“Sometimes it’s too damn hot,” he said.

2 Comments

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