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Area children in need of cycling equipment, or assistance getting a bike repaired, now have a helping hand, thanks to the late Ron Ruen of Decorah.

A memorial fund for youth cycling has been established in Ruen’s name by his widow, Judy Tjossem, now of Buffalo City, Wis. Ruen, an avid cyclist, passed away in February after a decade-long struggle with a degenerative brain disorder. The fund exists to honor Ruen’s love of cycling while fostering a like sentiment in area youth. Monies are held at Decorah Bicycles in Decorah.

“Before Ron died, I told him that we’d be receiving some memorial money and wouldn’t it be nice to do something good with it,” Tjossem said. “When I mentioned a fund at the local bike shop to help kids, he was all for it. Ron always went out of his way to help people interested in the sport he loved so much.”

One of the riders in Iowa’s very first RAGBRAI, Ruen was not only a passionate cyclist, but an accomplished one. “He competed in time trials and was always among the top in his age group,” Tjossem said.

“He took two bike trips to tour England and Ireland, and he frequently did what he called ‘century rides’, where he’d bike 100 miles in a day. But competition was only part of it for Ron. Mostly he just loved to be active and out in nature. Biking allowed him to achieve both of those things.”

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