Man "stops off" for RAGBRAI - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Man "stops off" for RAGBRAI

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Participating in RAGBRAI is no small feat, and not something you would normally jump into at a moment's notice. But that's exactly the case for one man, who just decided to make it part of a 15,000-mile bike ride.

Jesse Steiner calls his bike his home.

"The customs officer didn't really get a kick out of that coming into the U.S.," said Steiner in an interview on Wednesday.

Steiner crossed the border from Montreal in early May, and he's been working his way west ever since. He hopes to end up in Argentina sometime next year. But for Steiner, it's not about the biking or the destination. It's all about meeting new people and seeing new places along the way.

"I've found out that the easiest way to do that is traveling by bike," Steiner explained. "Some days I ride, some days I go from town to town. The last couple day's I've sat here in Iowa City, read a book, talked to strangers."

This is where Steiner's journey changed course a bit. People kept telling him to give RAGBRAI a shot. It's something he'd heard about, but wasn't planning for on this trip.

"Because it goes west to east, and I'm heading east to west."

But with a little convincing, and the offer of a free ride to the starting line in Sioux City, Steiner said, "why not?"

"What's another, you know, 400 or 500 miles on a 15,000-mile trek?"

After RAGBRAI, he'll continue on his way to South America. But Steiner seems like he's up for just about anything between here and there.

"And that's sort of how I've been doing this whole trip. I don't have a plan, I don't have an agenda I need to stick to, I just go with the flow and whatever seems like the most fun."

Steiner put his master's degree in electrical engineering to good use, even as he's moving around. He built a box that converts the power of his moving bike wheels to charge his electronics and cell phone.

You can find out more about Steiner's trip at www.jessesteiner.com.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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