Restart Inc

Rebuilding lives after brain injury


Archive for August, 2012

Bike ride raises over $5,000 for Restart!

August 13th, 2012

This summer, from July 22-28th, Restart Board of Directors President John Jeffries embarked on a 525 mile bike ride to benefit Restart.  His goal: to bring awareness to head injury and bike safety. RAGBRAI, The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, is an annual seven-day event that attracts over 25,000 bike riders.  This year was especially difficult as temperatures reached over 112 degrees. That’s a lot of thirsty riders!  Here is a recap of John’s adventure.

I have been biking for fitness for a few years now in a variety of environments and have noticed a disturbingly large proportion of riders of all ages doing so without helmets.  There are so many accidents in all manner of biking and so many head injuries. I began to wonder if Restart could create a connection to biking for safety and recovery.

For the past 2 years, I had also been a RAGBRAI participant.  RAGBRAI is the oldest and largest organized cross-country tour in the world [so they say].  The Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa includes some 25,000 riders at one point or another across the state from the “west coast” of the Missouri river to the “east coast” of the Mississippi river generally covering some 450 miles and 15,000 feet or so of climbing the rolling hills of the state.

During this weeklong ride, I have observed many terrible and fatal accidents nearly always involving some sort of head trauma.

So this year, I decided to “ride for Restart” by raising donations based on my mileage and using the opportunity to spread the word about Restart, head injuries and bike safety.

On Sunday July 22 at 6:45 am, I began my ride for Restart across the state of Iowa in Sioux Center.

Little did I know the next 5 days would be brutal searing heat around 105 degrees every day with temperatures on my bike around 113 and road temperatures of nearly 140 degrees!  Dew points hung around 80 degrees – most of the veteran riders agreed it was the toughest RAGBRAI ever in view of the heat and humidity.  For me, including two days each over 100 miles!

On Saturday, July 28 at 1:15pm, I dipped my tires for a sort of victory in the Mississippi river on the east side of the state in Clinton. Believe me, those of us that made it through the week were very happy!

For the record I logged 525 miles!

For those of you that still believe Iowa is flat, I also endured more than 16,000 feet of climb … yes indeed, that works out to some pretty sore quads on the up slopes and some happy riders when rewarded with a descending glide!

There were some terrible accidents once again … beginning on the first day when a rider went over his handlebars when his tire found a wandering crack not 10 miles into the week.  He was taken away by ambulance and we heard he is recovering from a severe concussion among other injuries.

There are also many stories and great memories from the ride.  Perhaps what I will remember most is the focused perseverance I observed of the group of “riders” known as the Adaptive Sports Team. These amazing “handicapped” people endured brutal conditions forcing their way up long hills and through heat that sidelined more than 50 other riders per day with heat stroke.

I was starkly reminded of my full health relatively speaking and it made me thankful for it and my ability to ride for Restart.  I am very thankful for all that supported my ride to benefit Restart!  Please always wear your helmet – we prefer your donation much more than being your care provider!