Father and son cycle for Cayman charities

Father and son cyclists Tim and Alex Dailey visit a penny-farthing monument along the nearly 500-mile route of last month’s Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, known as RAGBRAI.

Nine-year-old Alex Dailey has surpassed his goal of fundraising for charities in Cayman after cycling with his dad across the U.S. state of Iowa.

Alex and his dad Tim Dailey, who took part in the Des Moines Register’s [a newspaper in Iowa] Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, also known as RAGBRAI, have so far raised US$3,400, surpassing their initial goal of US$3,000.

The father and son team, joined by Sarah Burton, also from Cayman, biked through eight towns in Iowa on Team Animals USA, with about 14 members. More than 20,000 cyclists took part in the ride, starting in Glenwood and ending in Muscatine.

“When we first started talking about it, we thought to try and bike for charity,” said Mr. Dailey. “We started with the goal of US$3,000 on Gofundme.com and thought we could get $1,000 each,” for Cayman HospiceCare, Cayman Islands Cancer Society and One Dog at a Time.

“Now we’ve gotten way past our goal, with $3,400,” he said.

Alex Dailey and Sarah Burton lead the pack at one point.
Alex Dailey and Sarah Burton lead the pack at one point.

Alex, who took up biking about a year ago, was one of the youngest on the seven-day ride that also featured skateboarders, in-line skaters, tandem bikers and even a penny farthing, which Rick Stumpff of Branson, Missouri, has ridden for the past five years in RAGBRAI. Some pets were also towed along, Mr. Dailey noted.

“There were lots of kids,” Mr. Dailey said. “We know of at least one 8-year-old that was riding on his own with his grandfather.”

Event organizers change the route every year. The Daileys completed a southern route, with more hills, but shorter than the northern route.

Climbing the hills and covering between 40 and 70 miles a day made for a challenging ride.

Alex said the journey was tiring, but he liked the food along the way, the scenery and the hilly ride.

Assisted by a support bus each day, the Daileys – and other riders – were welcomed by people in the small towns along the way. Since they only rode during the day, they slept in towns or sometimes some odd places, including tents near the highway (where they listened to trains and 18-wheelers all night) and once, inside a dress shop. They also showered in a kennel.

Alex Dailey accepts a $300 donation from Tracey Ebanks of Cayman Water.
Alex Dailey accepts a $300 donation from Tracey Ebanks of Cayman Water.

The RAGBRAI organizers approach people in the towns along the route, seeking places to accommodate riders, and “virtually no one says ‘no’ because it’s such a big thing and RAGBRAI is well known,” said Mr. Dailey, “so they want to help.”

It was quite an experience for Mr. Dailey, and for Alex, who will start Year 5 at Cayman Prep in the fall.

“It was interesting to see the many industries that go on in the small towns and how people make a living and how their lives are,” said Mr. Dailey.

They also met riders from as far afield as Colombia and New Zealand. “We weren’t the only internationals, but it was certainly of interest to them to have someone from Cayman, and in a lot of cases, particularly the towns, didn’t know anything about us,” he said.

They are now back in Cayman, but their fundraising effort is still under way.

For more information, call Tim Dailey at 916-8005 or email [email protected]