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  • Laura Bird
  • Thu June 28 2012
  • Posted Jun 28, 2012

MASON CITY — Chatting in Central Park, exploring Mason City and touring the Historic Park Inn Hotel, members of the the Iowa 150 Bike Ride Sesquicentennial Expedition reunited on Wednesday.

“That ride produced the most awesome group of friends,” said Chuck Offenburger, of Cooper, who went on the 1995 ride with his wife, Carla.

The ride involved more than 300 Iowa bicyclists riding from Long Beach, Calif., to Washington, D.C., between Memorial Day and Labor Day in 1995. It was meant to promote and invite people from across the country to Iowa’s sesquicentennial celebration the following year.

“It was so special,” said Sue Green, Cedar Falls, a participant and co-coordinator for the reunion. “Together for 100 days — our friendships are so deep and treasured.”

The reunion on Wednesday — the first in two years — was to revisit those friendships and honor Ann MacGregor, Mason City, and her late husband, John, who both participated in the bike ride.

“We’re a very close-knit group and Ann MacGregor has been instrumental in getting us here to see her project,” said Anne Stevens, Northwood, referring to the Historic Park Inn Hotel. “We’re here to honor Ann.”

Ann MacGregor was unable to attend.

Green said the group has been hearing about the project for years and decided to have this year’s reunion in Mason City so everyone could see it.

“It’s special,” she said about the hotel.

The group of around 60 people toured the hotel and planned on having other reunion festivities there Wednesday night. They included a social hour, dinner and memorial service honoring those who have died since the last reunion.

“There will be a lot of reminiscing,” Carla Offenburger said.


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