This is such a great story for a great cause. This weekend Donald Kaul's (one of the RAGBRAI founders) bicycle will be auctioned off to one lucky bidder. The proceeds will benefit the Dream Team.
The other great part of this story is about Jeff Bock - the guy who custom-built the bike in 1977, recently restored and painted the bike to it's original colors and decals. Jeff will have a mini-booth (#1) at the Iowa Bike Expo. Stop by as say hello! and yes... he is still making custom bicycle and he can build you one too!
Own a Piece of History
Support the Dream Team and own an iconic piece of RAGBRAI history.
Thanks to the generosity of the family of Donald Kaul, the Dream Team will receive the proceeds from the auction of the bicycle rode by the RAGBRAI co-founder.
Attendees to Saturday's Bike Expo
can see and get their photo taken with the bike at the Dream Team booth #206.
If you are interested in bidding, please contact us at Info@dreamteamdesmoines.org
. You can also call 515.207.5186 to get more info or to submit a pre-bid.
Post from Jeff Bock of Jeffrey Bock Custom Cycles
Once upon a time, a very long time ago (1977 to be precise) I was commissioned by the Des Moines Register to build "Team RAGBRAI" bikes for John Karras and Donald Kaul.
I think John Karras got the idea of a "Team" bike from the iconic Raleigh Team Pro racing bicycles that had taken the cycling world by storm a couple of years earlier. In John's vision, like the Raleighs, the "Team RAGBRAI" bikes would be painted in flashy colors and emblazoned with bold graphics.
As you may expect, I was thrilled to build these bikes. Even back then, RAGBRAI was a big deal. Seeing both of the RAGBRAI founders on my bikes was HUGE! From then on, Karras and Kaul rode these bikes whenever they went on RAGBRAI.
Shortly after Kaul left the Register, he had me repaint his bike in a more sedate color scheme.
Some years later, in one of the last conversations I had with Don, he said that he had lost track of the bike.* That's where things stood until the last day of RAGBRAI this year, when Rachel Kaul (Don's youngest daughter) mentioned to Carl Voss that Don's RAGBRAI bike was stored in her basement. She went on to suggest that she would be happy to give it to someone who would be willing to make a suitable donation to a worthy cause.
The worthy cause chosen is the Dream Team. As you may know, the Dream Team is the non-profit organization that each year takes a group of "at risk" youth on RAGBRAI. Actually, it's a bit more involved than, "just taking a group of kids on RAGBRAI". They equip them with bicycles. They setup and take the group on a
regimen of training rides and other activites to prepare them for the ride. After all that, the entire group goes on RAGBRAI.
The Dream Team plans to auction Donald Kaul's RAGBRAI bike at the RAGBRAI Route Announcement Party on January 27, 2024.
In the meantime, I've been asked by the folks at the Dream Team to restore the bike to its "Team RAGBRAI" color scheme.
About Dream Team Des Moines
Dream Team Des Moines is a non-profit organization in central Iowa. We provide young adults with opportunities to build confidence, set goals, and create a healthy lifestyle through mentor-based interactions centered around bicycling.?
In March, a team of 50-60 teenagers start their 5 month journey to RAGBRAI, a week-long bike ride across Iowa that occurs each July. The riders work with caring volunteers to set goals, work hard, and DREAM BIG!
The bicycle is used as a tool to inspire and motivate young people, encourage lifelong wellness, and build confidence through accomplishment. Completing a 400+ mile bike ride across the state gives the participant a tangible sense of achievement, as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals.
The Dream Team makes the seemingly impossible, possible.