OSKALOOSA — Hi mom, I’m in Oskaloosa. This is Rod Schultz (Camanche High School, Class of 1986). Yes, I’m on Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa again for my 10th full year, with my first trip back in 1983. It is hard to believe how much this ride has changed in 30 years, yet so much has stayed the same. Scott Morgan and Jeff Moore could agree with me when we say “back in the day...”
Ted Schultz (no relation) is taking the night off and allowing me time to write this. By now I’m sure he is taking a nap under a shade tree in his tent. Recharge, Ted, recharge.
I’m riding with Team Beloit, new from Beloit College, a private liberal arts college, in Beloit Wis., where I now work in development and alumni relations. The five faculty and staff I brought along on this wonderful adventure across Iowa are all new to the hills of this slice of the country. Let’s just call it scenic for good measure. And why not? Our week has been spectacular and the roads fantastic! Wearing our Beloit College cycling jerseys, many of us have been able to flush out alumni, parents and friends of the college so that we can connect, share good stories and thank them for their support. Mark Wold, Kim Zarling, Phil Shields, Christina Eddington, Breeze Jacobson and I are that team.
I found a great laptop to work from in Fellowship Bible Church after learning about this place from a nice young girl handing out freezer pops just up the road.
However, lets start from the beginning. Our Thursday morning had us waking up in Knoxville on the lush grass of a softball field next to the Speedway. Rolling out of town we had cool breezes and blue skies all the way to Lake Red Rock, across the dam, and into the scenic town of Pella. It was here that we had some tasty Dutch letters, tried on some wooden shoes, and posed on a bicycle built for 21 (3 rows of 7). Since our day was 52 miles with 2,800 feet of climb, cyclists have been enjoying the towns along the way, boosting the economy, and eating great food without any caloric guilt.