A special sticker is the symbol to remember to help honor a passionate cycling advocate who died outside his own bike wheel business facility last year. The riders who chose to brave the first-ever gravel loop of RAGBRAI Monday morning helped honor Steve Hed – who was formerly of HED Cycling and a man who loved biking on gravel.
Taking the gravel loop was the only way to visit the 662-population town of Pomeroy, where the Hed family set up a tent to hand out stickers.
“My dad, Steve, said anyone who does the gravel loop (he) would personally place a sticker on anyone’s bike who does it, so that was really the motivation for coming out today,” said Steve’s son, Andrew Hed, 19. “We have custom stickers in dedication to my dad.”
Steve Hed died in November 2014 at the age of 59. HED Cycling is known for creating tires designed for riding on gravel roads. Steve, a legend in the cycling world, had asked about adding a gravel day to the RAGBRAI route. The route was added after his sudden collapse last year.
The Hed family and a few employees of Hed Cycling set up a tent in downtown Pomeroy to greet riders who rode the loop.
“We’re so happy to be here,” Anne said.
Riders could stop by the tent, fill their tires and sign a cloth that said, “I survived the gravel,” to give to the family.
Cycling has been the center of the family. Anne met Steve because he was her first sponsor for a ride. And they still love to bike. Anne even hopes to grow the business.
The family planned on riding the loop themselves once the riders had passed through Pomeroy.
And after they enjoyed one of Pomeroy’s “really good” apple turnovers, as Anne described them.
But before they took on the loop, Andrew and sister, Rebecca Hed, 16, made sure to hand out stickers to every rider who came through town.
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