On July 24th 2009, a RAGBRAI rider Todd R. Lohman of Moline Ill. collided with a road grader near Germanville, Iowa. The crash happened at 2:30 p.m. and the cyclist suffered life ending injuries. Iowa State Trooper Chass Ossian said the cyclist, “was on the wrong side of the road. The road grader didn’t do anything wrong. It was on the shoulder”. While the grader was said to have been going about 5 to 10 mph it is still unknown how fast the cyclist was going. A witness told the state patrol that Mr. Lohman, “was riding in the oncoming lane, with his head down, passing other bycyclists.” The driver of the road grader Ricky Lee Watson of Richland was said to be on his side of the road with two wheels on the shoulder. Could more have been done to protect Mr. Lohman? With whom does the responsibility fall to protect RAGBRAI riders? Should we be allowing things like road graders on the same path as thousands of bikers?It's not like the daily RAGBRAI route is a secret. There is an undercurrent to the Iowa populous that doesn't seem to want to be very hospitable to this event. It's too bad because it brings in badly needed revenues.
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