• Posted Jan 30, 2023

It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since we lost one of our cycling legends Paul Black.

Paul was respected and admired for his extraordinary cycling accomplishments which are detailed in the attached obituary. RAAM, Paris Breast Paris , Iditarod just to mention a few.

Never wanting the attention for such feats, Paul just wanted to ride his bike either alone or with a small group of friends. Dave Ertl probably said it best: “He was the humblest person, and you would never know of his amazing accomplishments on the bike if you didn't ask him." Paul was very active on the DMOS and DMCC cycling teams.

Several of Paul’s friends want to keep his memory alive by establishing a memorial along one of the many trails he rode for training and pleasure. We considered several locations offering good visibility to trail users and residents. We want the memorial to be very distinctive both in location and design. We can honor this great man while investing in our stellar trail system.

Paul Black Memorial Plaza

We are now fundraising to build a Paul Black Memorial Plaza at the trailhead to be built next year in Bouton. Bouton is midway between Perry and Woodward on the connector section that will link the Raccoon River Valley Trail and the High Trestle Trail. The Perry section will be built in 2023 and the Woodard section in 2024. With flow through traffic to occur after that, we think it is a perfect location to honor Paul.

We are working with Mike Wallace of Dallas County Conservation and community leaders in Bouton to reserve an area to place a bench, picnic table, bike rack, tool stand and a plaque that will include Paul’s picture and biographical information. Bouton is offering to prepare the site and lay paver bricks on which the memorial objects will be placed.

We are about halfway to our fund-raising goal of $8,000. With more donors, we can scale up the size of the project.


YOU Can help Build the Paul Black Memorial Plaza in Bouton, IA with a donation.

Checks are also accepted: Please make them out to "Paul Black Memorial Fund" and mail to:

Doug Miller
4513 96th St.
Urbandale, IA. 50322

Questions? email Doug Miller


BIKEIOWA NOTE: We knew Paul for years and always learned something new when he was around.

We are still in AWE of his accomplishments. Think about it - he was doing Winter Ultra Races when there were no fat bikes and think how much better gear, apparel and nutrition has gotten in the last 20 years?!?

We've been posting news about Paul Black since 2005 and were delighted to have him as our guest speaker at the Firetrucker Adventure Biking (FAB) Talk in January 2019.

RIP Paul.

Paul Black Obituary

Paul Black, a well-known and highly respected cyclist from Des Moines, passed away after a brief illness on Wednesday, September 23, 2020, at MercyOne Des MoinesMedical Center.

Paul was born in Mount Pleasant on March 10, 1949 to Carl and Helen (Snyder) Black. He grew up on farms in the Libertyville and Fairfield area. Paul graduated from Fairfield High School with the class of 1967. After high school he attended Iowa State University earning a degree in 1972.

It was in Ames where the seeds of nearly fifty years of cycling were planted. Highlights from cycling included Paris-Brest-Paris (750 miles) in 1991; the 2,909 mile Race Across America (RAAM) where he finished 10th in 9 days & 23hrs; 6 trips to Alaska in February for the Iditasport races; and there were too many qualifying races and RAGBRAI events to count. This February he was in Sebring Florida for a race and finished first in his age category on a recumbent bicycle. Paul had planned a trip to Spain this past March before travel was canceled. With all of the organized events, the rides Paul enjoyed most were casual outings with friends such as riding the temperature on New Year's Day, Wednesday night rides and riding the miles of is age on his birthday.

Paul retired from the State of Iowa as an Information Technology Specialist in 2010.

After retirement Paul enjoyed teaching fitness classes and recently started teaching Tai Chi. Paul enjoyed being a "Big Brother" to his "little brother" Austin for the last 9 1/2 years.

Paul was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Helen Black and his sister Carla Campbell.

He is survived by his two latest rescue cats Ranger and Prince, brother Frank (Amy) Black of Savannah GA, brother-in-law Dale Campbell of Mt. Pleasant IA, niece Cindy (Brian) Smith of

Mt. Pleasant IA, niece Brenda (Mike) Sporkman of West Point IA, nephew Dan (Brooke) Campbell of Carlisle IA, niece Kelly (George) Barker of Jacksonville FL and nephew Jonathan (Robbie) Black of Ellabell GA.
A private graveside service will be held at Trinity Cemetery in Mt. Union Iowa.

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