Iowa’s Ride’s executive director is leaving both the not-yet-held cycling event and the state. T.J. Juskiewicz has been named executive director of El Tour de Tucson, the Arizona Star reported on Thursday.
“It has been a great 17-year ride here in Iowa! I want to thank you for the great times and lifetime friendships that we have made here in the Midwest,” Juskiewicz said in a post on the Iowa’s Ride Facebook page.
“I am excited about the opportunity to help with El Tour de Tucson. El Tour is one of the country’s top cycling events and part of the culture of cycling in Arizona,” he continued. “Perhaps what appeals to me the most about El Tour is that since 1983 their events have raised over $100 million for local and international charitable organizations.”
Juskiewicz was director of RAGBRAI before quitting the cross-state cycling event sponsored by the Des Moines Register in October, following disagreements with the Register’s corporate owner, Gannett.
Along with other former RAGBRAI employees, Juskiewicz unveiled plans for a new summertime ride across Iowa called Iowa’s Ride. The cycling event was scheduled for the week of July 12, but was canceled in April due to concerns over COVID-19.
When the cancellation was announced, Juskiewicz said delaying the inaugural Iowa’s Ride was going to cause the organization considerable financial hardship.
In his Facebook post, Juskiewicz said next summer’s Iowa’s Ride will go on as scheduled.
“I will be back in Iowa next summer to ride with you across the state on Iowa’s Ride from Dubuque to Rock Rapids on July 18-24, 2021,” he wrote. “This semi-supported ride will be FREE for everyone that was originally registered to ride on Iowa’s Ride this summer.”
Juskiewicz did not address what will happen to Iowa’s Ride after the last riders arrive in Rock Rapids. Iowa Ride’s official site does not have any information regarding its post-2021 fate either.
Update: Juskiewicz told Little Village that current plans call for Iowa’s Ride to continue beyond 2021 “in some form.”
“There are definitely enough people interested in seeing it continue,” he said. “And the team is just starting to work on that.”
Whether it will continue to as a cross-state ride is uncertain, but Juskiewicz, whatever form Iowa’s Ride eventually takes, it will still be aimed at supporting the local communities that host it.
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