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RAGBRAI Mile of Silence: Riders remember those killed or injured

  • 23 July, 2017
  • Kelly McGowan

GRANVILLE, Ia — Stereos were silenced and conversations quieted Sunday as cyclists passed through the Mile of Silence during the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa.

The mile, which stretched between Nest and Monroe avenues along Highway 10, honored cyclists who have been injured or killed while riding.

It was especially powerful for Shawna Wagner of Decorah, who had her jaw severely broken in an accident when she was new to biking. The injuries required multiple surgeries, she said, and she decided to register for last year’s RAGBRAI to get back on the road and past the accident.

The Mile of Silence, a new addition to the route in 2016, took Wagner off guard when she rode up to it then, she said, and did the same Sunday.

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“I just tear up,” she said. “A bike accident can be devastating.”

While honoring victims of biking accidents, Wagner said the mile also draws deserved attention to the Iowa Bike Coalition, which puts on the mile along with the national Ride of Silence organization.

Cyclist Kelly Van Timmeren of Allendale, Mich., said a somber tone was felt at the beginning of the mile.

He met his cousin Margaret Rosendale there, who lives a few miles up the road and drove down to watch RAGBRAI pass by. Rosendale said she was impressed by the hordes of cyclists as they entered the Mile of Silence.

“It’s amazing, she said. “I just can’t get over it.”

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