The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

May 1, 2012

Clinton resident donates bike for use in RAGBRAI display

Herald Staff Report

CLINTON — Mahatma Gandi said, “The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.”

LuAnn Larsen, RAGBRAI publicity committee, spoke with former Ward 1 City Councilman Bob Soesbe who recently donated a bicycle to the local RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) committee to be used in the downtown business window decorating  displays and shared a fond memory of cycling.

Related: READER'S LETTER: Bikes needed for RAGBRAI display

He remembers the days of bicycles with balloon tires.

Living north of the Big Tree in what was known as Lyons more than 80 years ago, Soesbe and his buddies used to ride their bikes to 31st Avenue North and Pershing Boulevard.

The boys then would have competitions to see who could ride all the way from the top of Pershing to Main Avenue without pedaling. There was a lot of good-natured bantering back and forth about who had the best bike.  

He cherishes moments like this with his friends and their bikes forever.  When asked about the bicycle he donated to RAGBRAI, Soesbe explained his love of going to auctions and finding bikes that his nine children and 41 grandchildren and great-grandchildren can use.

The bicycle that he donated to RAGBRAI was a girl’s bike. Bob’s great-granddaughters are still a little young for a bike this size so he decided someone else may benefit from the bike and that is why he decided to give the bike to the committee.