MUSCATINE, Iowa–A teacher, foster parent, local columnist, and an active volunteer for Gilda’s Club, Amy Meyer left a lasting legacy in the Muscatine community even after her death from breast cancer. After taking a trip in honor of her birthday 13 years ago, several of her friends started looking for other ways to celebrate her memory. Thinking back to how much she enjoyed riding in RAGBRAI with her brother, they came up with the idea of hosting an annual bike ride through Muscatine in her honor. As Susan Manjoine explained it, “We had that in our heads and we thought we should do a pub crawl on bikes.”
At first, the Amy Meyer Memorial Bike Ride consisted of just a few friends riding their bikes to several Muscatine bars, playing games, and making a donation to Gilda’s Club. Over time though, they decided they wanted to get more people involved. As the ride grew, as many as 200 people participated in it annually. Over the years, it raised more than $70,000, which helped Gilda’s Club of the Quad Cities improve their children’s room and later helped cover the costs of starting the Gilda’s Club office in Muscatine and paying its rent.
This year, organizers plan to host one last celebration. “This year is the last hoorah,” said Manjoine. “We’re trying to do one big party to thank everyone for their support over the years.”
To that end, the Amy Meyer Memorial Bike Ride organizers have planned a day of fun at the Missipi Brew’s beer garden from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28. For a $5 registration fee, people can come out and play a variety of fun outdoor games and boat races. This year, to help more people celebrate than ever before, games come free with admission. For those looking to celebrate with some fun swag, organizers will also have t-shirts for sale. Anyone wanting to attend can purchase tickets and t-shirts online at the Amy Meyer Memorial Bike Ride website or in person the day of, as long as supplies last. Those who purchase shirts in advance can pick them up early at the Brew between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Aug. 25.
After so many years of supporting Gilda’s Club, the organizers of the Amy Meyer Memorial Bike Ride look forward to doing so one more time and to keeping the memory of Meyer’s dedication to teaching elementary students, advocating for foster children, and supporting people with cancer alive. “As important as it was to give to Gilda’s, it was important to remember Amy because she was such a big part of the community,” emphasized Manjoine.
13 years after taking their first ride together, the organizers of the Amy Meyer Memorial Bike ride hope to have an excellent turnout at their final event. They look forward to celebrating with their many local supporters in a fun and meaningful afternoon, just as Meyer would have wanted it.