The thoughts and prayers of RAGBRAI are with the family, teammates and friends of Paul Ladd who was killed while riding his bike in Boone while training for RAGBRAI this week. You will be in our thoughts as we ride RAGBRAI next month.
The daughter of Paul Ladd reached out to us to remind everyone to be safe out there! I think her own words say it best….
My name is Allyson Ladd and RAGBRAI is a tradition that is near and dear to my heart. After riding the entire course in 2010, I convinced my dad to participate. He rode last year with Team Navy and absolutely loved it. He was planning to ride again this year with his team.
This week, my Dad was involved in a fatal accident while riding his bike (see Des Moines Register article below), training for the event. He was struck by a car from behind and died on impact from severe head trauma.
I understand this is a heavy and difficult matter to discuss, but I was wondering if you could please post something on your site and/or Facebook in regards to bike safety? My Dad was an extremely cautious rider who made every possible attempt to make himself visible on the road, but it’s always a nice reminder to hear what we can do to protect ourselves from vehicles who don’t pay attention to cyclists — especially this time of year when there are so many of us!
Additionally, Team Navy and other riders will be wearing these jerseys on day two to honor my Dad and any other individual who has had their life taken from them while training for the event. If you could please spread the word, it would be sincerely appreciated.
Thank you for your tremendous work. You should be extremely proud of the wonderful event that you have made a “must-do” Iowa (and world!) tradition.
Let’s all be safe out there!
Boone Cyclist Killed Training for RAGBRAI
The Boone man hit and killed while riding his bike Monday was retired Marine colonel who was training for RAGBRAI, family members said.
Paul L. Ladd, 59, the director of the Boone County veterans affairs office, was finishing a 40-mile ride when he was struck by a car, said his wife Debbie Ladd.
Ladd was preparing to ride in the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa for the second time with a group of veterans called Team Navy. The team plans to honor Ladd during the second day of the week-long ride by wearing jerseys reading “3 Feet Please”, a motto advocating for vehicles to give cyclists a safe berth on the road.
Safety was important to Ladd whether on his bicycle or his Harley Davidson, Debbie Ladd said.
“That morning, I kissed him goodbye and said ‘Be safe,’” she said. “He said, ‘I’m always safe.’”
The accident occurred shortly before 7 a.m. on a county road north of Boone. Ladd died at the scene.
Police said that Christopher Fawcett of Stratford was driving the car and that charges were pending an ongoing investigation.
A native Iowan who grew up on a farm near Jacksonville, Ladd served in the Marines for 28 years until retiring in 2004. For the past eight years he had lead the county veterans affairs office, which helps veterans access their benefits.
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