The 2009 Rider Cup Award: Henry County High Wheelers Bicycle Club
The Rider Cup Award is presented to the club or team that best promotes the RIDE RIGHT® philosophy before and during RAGBRAI. The Rider Cup will be presented to the Henry County High Wheelers Bicycle Club at the RAGBRAI January Meeting for Clubs & Teams on Saturday, January 30, 2010 in Des Moines.
“We are just happy to be a part of RAGBRAI,” states the club RAGBRAI coordinator Mark Hamilton. “We appreciate and value what RAGBRAI means to our state and we gladly take the role as ambassadors to the ride.” The High Wheelers had a larger than usual team this year, doubling the size of their team to 30 as the route came through the Mount Pleasant area.
Hamilton rides each year with his family and says he is “stunned” that some people question if RAGBRAI is a family event. “My wife, son, daughter and son-in-law all rode with us this year. It’s a family vacation,” says Hamilton. “It is also a great geography lesson for young people to learn about our state. My 20-year old son has been on 9 RAGBRAIs and actually knows where quiet a few towns are outside the big cities of Iowa.”
This year the club had four volunteer RIDE RIGHT ambassadors on the ride. Mark and his wife Barb, along with Randy Wright and club President Tim Bell served as RIDE RIGHT ambassadors for the first time this summer.
Bell rode with the Air Force Cycling Team for years and fell in love with Iowa while on RAGBRAI. After retiring from the Air Force, Tim and his wife Jane decided they wanted to live in southeast Iowa and relocated to New London. They were originally from northwestern New York. This past year Tim became president of the Henry County High Wheelers.
“I learned from my days riding with the Air Force Team that we all have a responsibility to help people and represent our state well,” claimed Bell. “So if it is helping with an accident or just asking if someone with a flat needs help, we are trying to be good representatives.”
The Henry County High Wheelers also played a role in the route inspection rides in June. Riders from the club rode two of the days of the week-long route looking for potential hazards. They rode the Ottumwa to Mount Pleasant day, followed by the Mount Pleasant to Burlington day.
Congratulations to the Henry County High Wheelers!
PAST RIDER CUP AWARD WINNERS
2008: Air Force Cycling Team
2007: CUBS (Chicago Urban Bicycling Society)
2006: The Dream Team
2005: Team Navy Cycling
2004: Siouxland Cyclists
2003: Marion Road Hogs
2002: Team Achin’ Knee
2001: North Iowa Touring Club
2000: Huff ‘N Puffers
1999: Riverbend Bike Club
1998: Pottawattamie Pedalers
1997: Team Gnarley
1996: Siouxland Cyclists
1995: Bicyclists of Iowa City
1994: Huff ‘N Puffers
1993: Team Skunk
1992: The Killer Bees
Henry County High Wheelers’ Group picture, 2009. Front, left to right Kathleen Bush, Jan Gillespie, Curt Swarm, Danny Pidgeon, Nancy Tometich, Tim Bell. Second row: Sarah Jacobs, Jena Linkin, Kirsten Heerdt, Jennifer Stater, Tammy Mulford, Jean Evans, Trevor Hamilton, Mike Quick, Mark Hamilton. Back Row: Garth (Gator) Ganka, Eric Heerdt, Dan McCabe, Ray Stigge, Randy Wright, Isaah Wright, Barb Hamilton, Tony Branch, Mike Tometich.