Pedaling to the Peripheries II: Bicycling bishop and team to ride two legs of RAGBRAI

Barb Arland-Fye
Bishop Thomas Zinkula visits with Knights of Columbus members at a pancake breakfast in Harper that the KCs held during RAGBRAI in July 2018. Bishop Zinkula was a rider and spiritual leader for the Pedaling to the Peripheries team.

By Barb Arland-Fye
The Catholic Messenger

They’re back in the saddle! Bishop Thomas Zinkula and the Pedaling to the Peripheries team are gearing up to ride the final two days of RAGBRAI (the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa). The 427-mile ride starts in Council Bluffs on July 21 and finishes in Keokuk on July 27.

Priests at parishes along the route will celebrate Mass at each overnight stop on RAGBRAI — Council Bluffs, Atlantic, Winter­set, Indianola, Centerville, Fairfield and Burlington — carrying on a tradition that Bishop Zinkula introduced last year.

Pedaling to the Peripheries team members rode the full length of RAGBRAI last year, their first as a team. Scheduling conflicts and other considerations required an abbreviated ride this year. A smaller team of 13 will ride from Fairfield to Burlington (July 26) and from Burlington to Keokuk (July 27).


“I wasn’t able to fit the whole ride into my schedule this year,” Bishop Zinkula said. “Over the years, I have ridden a day or two once in a while and the whole ride three times, but I have never been an entire-week, every-year RAGBRAI rider like some devoted fans.”

Whatever distance he rides, the bishop views RAGBRAI as an opportunity to go out to the peripheries, encountering people of faith, no faith or lapsed faith, and setting an example as a joy-filled Catholic.

Asked about his riding strategy, the bishop said: “I don’t have a riding strategy this year; I will take it as it comes. Last year I rode with my brother most of the time, but hopefully this year I will be able to ride more with the Pedaling to the Peripheries team.”

What about “seat time” on the bicycle? “So far, I haven’t had much ‘seat time’ this spring and summer, so it could be interesting. Maybe I will need to ride myself into biking shape during those two days. If worse comes to worse, there is always the availability of the sag wagon!”
“It’s just exciting to continue our team,” said Jim Tiedje, Pedaling to the Peripheries’ team leader. “I was real pleased that the bishop was able to clear his schedule for those two days. This is a great opportunity to get into the (southern) part of the diocese with a down-to-earth bishop, making his rounds in the diocese in a casual manner.”

Team members come from the Davenport Diocese and from Kentucky, including friends and relatives of Tiedje. Among the returning riders is Al Thompson, a bacon lover who leads the Kentucky crew and will ride tandem with his wife, Molly, a staffer with the Diocese of Owensboro, Ky.

Pedaling to the Peripheries II will begin with an overnight stay July 25 in Fairfield at St. Mary Parish where Father Nick Adam is pastor. Some of his family members are avid RAGBRAI riders. Staffer Roberta Danielson anticipates an Adam family gathering – just a few weeks after they came together for the funeral Mass of their patriarch, Elmer “Bud” Adam. The RAGBRAI Mass will be celebrated at 6 p.m. at St. Mary’s.

The bicyclists will take off from Fairfield the next morning, July 26, to ride 65.6 miles to Burlington where they will spend the night at Divine Mercy Parish in Burlington-West Burlington. Father Marty Goetz is pastor of the parish and Father Dan Dorau is parochial vicar. They will offer RAGBRAI Mass at 6 p.m. at St. Paul Church in Burlington. The following morning, July 27, the team will pedal to Keokuk, 62.6 miles to the finish.

Even if you aren’t riding RAGBRAI – join the Pedaling to the Peripheries team at Mass!

Parish and school prep for RAGBRAI in the Davenport Diocese

St. Mary Parish in Centerville will offer Mass on July 24 at 6 p.m. with the new pastor, Father Timothy Armbruster, C.PP.S., presiding. A parish staffer said a chicken and noodle dinner will be served in the parish’s Marian Hall. The parish parking lot will be open for campers and RVs and the former school building will be open if campers need floor space. For information, contact:
St. Mary Parish in Fairfield will offer Mass on July 25 at 6 p.m. with Father Nick Adam, the pastor presiding. The parish is planning a meal for their invited guests – including the Adam family and Pedaling to the Peripheries team. “Probably lasagna,” said office staffer Roberta Danielson.
St. Paul Church in Burlington (Divine Mercy Parish of Burlington-West Burlington) will offer Mass on July 26 at 6 p.m. Father Marty Goetz (the pastor) or Father Dan Dorau (parochial vicar) will preside. The church is located at 508 N. 4th St.
Notre Dame Catholic School in Burlington is making big plans to welcome between 800 and 1,200 RAGBRAI participants who plan to camp out on school grounds, said Bill Plein, athletic director for Notre Dame Senior High School. “The early reports are between 800 and 1,200 … it could be up to 1,500,” he said. Brats and side dishes will be available as a meal for purchase. Showers and other amenities may be available as well.


Saturday, July 20, Council Bluffs
St. Peter Church, 4 p.m.
Corpus Christi Parish, 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Queen of Apostles worship center
St. Patrick Church, 5 p.m.

Sunday, July 21 morning, Council Bluffs
St. Peter: 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and noon
Corpus Christi: 7:45 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 2 p.m. (Spanish) at Queen of Apostles worship site;
9:30 a.m. at Holy Family worship site; 9:30 a.m., Our Lady of Carter Lake
St. Patrick: 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m.

Sunday, July 21 evening, Atlantic
Ss. Peter & Paul Church, 6 p.m.

Monday, July 22 afternoon, Winterset
St. Joseph Church: Mass at 3 p.m. The parish will host a pasta dinner from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The church will serve as a waiting/cooling area for those attending the dinner.

Tuesday, July 23 evening, Indianola
St. Thomas Aquinas Church: 6 p.m.

Wednesday, July 24 morning, Indianola
St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 8 a.m.

Wednesday, July 24 evening, Centerville
St. Mary Catholic Church, 6 p.m.

Thursday, July 25 evening, Fairfield
St. Mary Catholic Church, 6 p.m.

Friday, July 26 evening, Burlington
Divine Mercy Parish, St. Paul Catholic Church, 6 p.m.

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