Local cyclists conquer RAGBRAI again

Several area residents recently finished a nearly 500-mile bike trek as they participated in the Register's Annual Greater Bike Ride Across Iowa. Included in that group is Randy White, now a five-year veteran of the RAGBRAI. "This is my fifth year to complete the event, which was my original goal when I started,' said White, a PGA golf teaching professional and executive director of First Priority of the Lakeshore. "It was hard to believe I made it after being asked to join Bob Whipkey five years ago. It just gets in your blood.
Tribune Staff
Aug 2, 2011


“Someone asked, ‘What are you doing for your vacation? And I answer, ‘I am going to bike for seven days in blistering heat while sleeping in a tent with trains going by every 30 minutes blowing their horns. ... They look at you with wondering eyes. But I will do it again because it is the greatest bike tour in the world, and you meet so many wonderful people and the pie along the route makes it worth it.”

Luke Harvitt joined the local riders this year and had the unexpected honor of riding alongside Lance Armstrong.

“Luke was riding along and saw a group coming up on him at a high speed so he decided to join the group and jumped on to the pace line as it was sweeping by,” White said. “After joining the group, a few guys were talking about Lance Armstrong. Luke asked the gentleman if he had seen him. The man answered, ‘You have been riding behind him for the last half an hour.’

“Luke was on the wheel of Lance Armstrong and didn’t even know it. ... It was a thrill for Luke to ride with one of the greatest cyclists in the world.”

Also completing the RAGBRAI were Tom Franks, Craig Zysk and Lori Harvitt.

According to White, the main reason the group tackles the RAGBRAI each year is to raise money for First Priority of the Lakeshore, a student-run campus ministry that services area schools.

“We appreciate all those who sponsored the riders this year and we look forward to another year of First Priority on the Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Fruitport campuses,” White said.


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