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For these Siouxland bicyclists, the sport is more about fellowship than it is about speed

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SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa (KTIV) - There's a group of Siouxlanders who love the sport of cycling just as much as the members of Team USA, but at a less-aggressive pace.

When Wednesday night rolls around, the Warriors come out to play. Or ride, as it were. The Wednesday Warriors are a group of biking enthusiasts who hit the roads around Sergeant Bluff together once a week.

"It's more of a social ride than anything else. We're not trying to break any records here," said group leader Greg Peterson.

"You're not out there going in 'Lance Mode'?" KTIV's Al Joens asked group member Lyndon Groth. "No, absolutely not."

They meet, take a group pic, decide on a route, then head out. On one occasion, Salix and back. About 22 miles, via Port Neal Road. It's not a race, and they've got each other's back. If somebody falls behind, they stop and wait for them.

But what is it that draws them to cycling?

"Well, I feel like I'm in control and I have the breeze running through my hair and it makes me feel strong," said Jean Schneiders. "And I get to be with other cyclists who enjoy doing the same thing that I do."

"The people you meet on the road, just to get away from everything, have your moment," said Tesfahun Mengistu. "Yeah, just to get out and do something different."

"Just kind of slows down the pace a little bit. Enjoy nature. Have a good time out here with friends," said Groth.

Peterson added, "It gives me a chance to get out at night. I bike maybe twice a week, so Wednesday's my night to get out. You know, some people go out bowling. I go cycling."

They won't be on the medal stand in Tokyo, but they love the sport of cycling every bit as much as the Olympians. Maybe more, because they go at their own pace.

Anyone's welcome to ride with the Wednesday Warriors. They meet about 6:15 p.m. in downtown Sergeant Bluff. After the ride, they usually get a bite to eat at Eddie's Lounge.

Al Joens

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