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DIRT Dad Fundo Across America—Day Thirty-Nine

 “To Me It Doesn’t Matter Whether It’s Raining Or The Sun Is Shining Or Whatever. As Long As I’m Riding A Bike I Know I’m The Luckiest Guy In The World” – Mark Cavendish

“The whole family will come with our Triple, and I’ll bring the pizza too!” is how the message read. The chat began when I crossed the border into Iowa. A triple? Pizza for breakfast? We had indeed fallen victim to autocorrect, or so I thought.


Cory Rood is a long-time DIRT member from the days when the Facebook group boasted fewer than a thousand members. He lives in an exurb of the city of Dubuque and drove 90 miles for our early morning meet-up.


With the box in hand, Cory, his wife Beth, and young son, Oliver, greeted us at the Schwenk Tank. Apparently, gas station breakfast pizza is a thing in Iowa. Who knew? We do now and I’m better for it!

triple convertible bike, however, was new to me! I soon knew it was cool, and the opportunity to share the experience with the entire Rood family was incredible. We rolled out in a steady rain undeterred.

The triple-team quickly got away on the downhills, but climbing was more of a challenge and I was able to catch up and ride alongside. The frequently rolling terrain gave us time to get to know each other. Like how important bikes are in the lives of the Roods.


Cory is an ultra-endurance racer training for the 380-mile Tour of Central Iowa mixed-surface event. Beth is a daily twenty-mile commuter to her work. The couple has conquered RAGBRAI, the oldest, largest, and longest multi-day bicycle touring event in the world, across Iowa as a tandem.


Young Oliver thoroughly enjoyed every part of it of the day’s biking adventure. I had a front-row seat and marveled at his comfort in the third position and attentiveness as his head swiveled to take in the sights and share his observations. He was doing his share of the work while also acting as a spray shield for his folks!

We stopped at Kinnick Stadium before diving into the bike paths to wind our way through Iowa City. It was a thrill for this College Football fan.

The paths were tight, and the turns were a challenge for the Roods. The experienced team handled it without an issue and took every chance to point out attractions and special features of local knowledge.

Once we were back on the open roads, it was time for the Roodonueurs to do their thing. It was a blast! The Roods were happy to do the wind-breaking work, and when we neared our destination, we all had to work a little harder to get there.

It was worth it, and we spent the time waiting for the Schwenk Tank catering crew to arrive, chatting about life in Iowa as a maturing family. The easy conversation continued when the rest came with lunch, like extended relations gathering for a special occasion. No one wanted to say goodbye!


We’ll never forget our new forever friends, the Roods, and the day they dropped everything on a Summer Sunday to travel three hours to make our experience more memorable.

We’ll all be sad to say goodbye to our other new friends and our lovely hosts at Oak Tree Homes.

Surf Zombies IPA, Iowa Brewing Co., Cedar Rapids, IA
About the DIRT Dad Fundo Pledge for Day Thirty-Nine—Douglas Grunseich

Here is what Douglas had to say—”I’ll be getting back on the bike to ride soon. I’m doing PMC in MA coming up. Hoping you get a tailwind today ;)!”


Amount Raised to Date—$8,469


Thank you, Douglas!


Now off to Geneseo, IL! 

To support Chris in his effort to raise awareness of The DIRT Dad Fund, the non-profit he created to assist members of the worldwide cycling community, check out this link to learn more. 

Find out where you can pledge a donation and subscribe to The ZOMs newsletter to follow along on the journey.

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