• Thu July 10 2008
  • Posted Jul 10, 2008
By Cynthis Beaudette of the Muscatine Journal MUSCATINE, Iowa — Bicyclist Justin Nikodemski isn’t ready to move to Iowa, but the Pennsylvania native said he’s enjoyed observing life in a more laid-back atmosphere. Nikodemski, of Pottstown, Pa., has been riding about 100 miles a day to complete a 1,300-mile trip from King of Prussia, Pa., to Cedar Rapids. He is a graphic artist for Pindar Set Inc., and left Pindar Set’s King of Prussia office Monday, June 23, to embark on a fundraising trek for Livestrong, the Lance Armstrong Foundation. He arrived in Muscatine around 4:30 p.m. Monday flanked by Melon City Bike Club members Mark Evans and Dave May, both of Muscatine. May, 62, and Evans, 51, met up with Nikodemski, 28, in Reynolds, Ill., after learning about his journey from May’s son, Matthew May of Cedar Rapids. Matthew, who works for Yellow Book in Cedar Rapids, learned about Nikodemski’s trip through his job. Nikodemski stayed at Dave May’s home Monday night and today he, May, Evans and fellow Melon City Bike Club member Ira Morgan of Muscatine, will accompany Nikodemski as he travels the final 67 miles of his trip to Cedar Rapids. May said a large media event is planned for 2:30 p.m. to mark the journey’s end. Nikodemski did a smaller, 100-mile ride for cancer awareness and fundraising last year and wanted to take on a bigger challenge this summer. His goal for this year’s trip is to raise $10,000 in pledges for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Since it was established in 1997, the Foundation has raised more than $250 million. The Foundation provides financial resources to more than 550 organizations that conduct cancer survivorship research or offer services to people affected by cancer. According to the Foundation Web site, 80 cents of every dollar donated supports cancer survivorship programs and initiatives to make cancer a national priority. Dave May said Nikodemski was inspired to raise money for this cause because his grandfather, who played a large role in raising him, died of cancer. Also, according to the site, Nikodemski had raised more than $6,500 as of Monday. He will fly back to King of Prussia when the fundraiser ends. He said he wouldn’t mind coming back to Iowa to ride on the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, if he has the opportunity. Nikodemski said he’s enjoying the people he meets along the way. “They’re so laid back,” he said. A case in point occurred when Nikodemski rode through Indiana where he encountered a friendly man who was stopped at a stop sign. Nikodemski said the man began talking to him and he was surprised to see the people in the cars behind the man simply waited for him to finish the conversation. On the East Coast, people would have been honking and trying to pass the man, Nikodemski said. Other things Nikodemski has learned on this ride include the following advice: “If someone tries to give you directions, don’t listen to what they say, watch where they point.” Reporter contact information Cynthia Beaudette 563-262-0527 To Donate To donate to Justin Nikodemski’s ride for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, go to

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