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89-year-old Sierra Vista man riding across Iowa

He's raising money before taking on RAGBRAI
Posted at 8:59 PM, Jun 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-21 22:07:17-04

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. — One of the biggest events in the cycling community is just a month away. It's the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, or RAGBRAI.

The week-long event draws cyclists from around the world, including one man from Sierra Vista.

At 89-years-old, Vince Kopec is a self-proclaimed bicyclist enthusiast.

"Everyday I go for a bike ride," Vince said. "Whether it's 10 or 12 miles. The other day, I did a 35-mile ride."

Vince says he enjoys riding and meeting other people who like to do the same.

The military veteran is now gearing up for RAGBRAI. The ride spans the entire state of Iowa -- 468 miles. But the distance doesn't worry Vince.

"I want to be a youthful adult person," Vince said. "I don't want to be a vegetable, sitting someplace. So that's why i'm really enthusiastic about this."

Vince's love for cycling isn't the only reason why he's doing RAGBRAI. Before he leaves for Iowa, he's raising money for the Arizona Elk's Major Projects, which donates to the Steele Children's Research Center and provides free youth camps.

It's also not the first time he's taking on a challenge to raise money for the Elks. Vince recently raised $2,000 when he did the Bisbee Stair Climb, while carrying his walker on his back.

In a few weeks, Vince will take on RAGBRAI with his modified bicycle -- one that protects his back. And he won't be thinking about his age, or the distance.

"I'm sure there's people there that will help me along, maybe even push me along if necessary," Vince said. "I'd rather not do that, it's a matter of pride."

RAGBRAI is July 21-27. You can donate here to Vince's fundraiser for the Arizona Elk's Major Projects.