Lake View to Webster City
Total miles: 81.2

We know this is getting repetitive, but trying to stay cool while bicycling in 100-degree temperatures has become the new RAGBRAI obsession for Team Simpson.

Back, from left: Chris Goodale ’86, senior advancementofficer; Chad & Teresa Layland (friends of Leslie Sickels Soyer ’97 and Adam Soyer ’97); Jason Askelson ’97; Charlie Fiedler ’86; Maribeth Brady Wright ’87; Kelley Bradder, vice president for information services; and Jacki Askelson, ’97. From row, John Mathias and Jeff McQueen (in white headband).

Here’s how we handled the problem in Sac City:

We can’t say enough good things about our overnight hosts. In Sioux Center, Tom and Dawn Wothuis went beyond the call of duty by transporting some of our things to Cherokee, the next overnight stop.

In Cherokee, Jim and Brenda Perrin saved us, and we’re not exaggerating. Our original overnight hosts were called out of town, so the Perrins offered to step in. Jim and Brenda are the parents of Chris Perrin ’97, who played basketball at Simpson, and Lyndsay Perrin Wolfswinkel ’00, who played volleyball.

We were greeted by Jim wearing a Storm basketball T-shirt, so he had the Simpson spirit working for him.

Last night, at our overnight stop in Lake View, James and Jenny Swenson Stock ’04 somehow managed to fit all 50-plus members of Team Simpson into their house, so nobody had to survive the hot night in a tent.

This was a very welcome sign:


People slept wherever they could find a space large enough to hold them, but we made it work.



After riding a bicycle in unbearable heat all day, can you imagine how much we enjoyed seeing the following:

To provide more rooms, the Stocks spent the night with their in-laws. Their son, Gunnar, moved the family dog to a neighbor’s house and went to stay with his grandparents.

The Stocks offered us showers, laundry and ice. It doesn’t get any better than that. We can’t thank them, and all of our overnight hosts, enough.

OK, onward to Webster City. Let’s meet a couple more members of Team Simpson:

*Eric Van Wyk resides in Minneapolis, MN. He is the son of long-time (and recently retired) Simpson faculty member Marv Van Wyk. Eric has done 10 RAGBRAIs and rode with Team Simpson in 2009. His advice to new RAGBRAI riders is to pack your clothes in gallon-size zip lock bags, that way, if your bag ends up in the rain your clothes will stay dry. This “chip off the old block” is a computer science professor at the University of Minnesota. The pork chops and pie are RAGBRAI highlights for Eric. One of his best memories of the ride is when he and Marv rode their tandem up the Snake Alley climb in Burlington at the end of the 2009 ride. You will find Eric and Marv back on that tandem again this year.

*Ryan Hildreth ’05 will be experiencing his fifth RAGBRAI, and will be joined by his wife Sandra. The Hildreth family lives in Rockwell City, and Ryan commutes to Sioux City, where he is a pilot in the Iowa Air National Guard on a full-time basis. He also assists his dad and brother, working for their family business. When not flying or riding his bike, Ryan likes to play golf and pheasant hunt. And Sandra? We’ll just say she is bicycling for two.

Webster City Fun Fact

This city has produced a world champion athlete and two Pulitzer Prize winners. Jennifer Simpson (great name!), a middle distance runner and steeplechaser, won a gold medal in the 1500 meters at the 2011 World Championships. She also represented the United States at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. MacKinlay Kantor won the 1956 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel, Andersonville.  Clark Mollenhoff won the 1958 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting as a reporter for The Des Moines Register.


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