FAYETTE, IA (July 29, 2008) --Two men riding with a group of bicyclists representing Upper Iowa University may have saved the life of another biker who was stricken during the final day of a statewide bike ride sponsored by the Des Moines Register and known by the acronym RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa).
Roy Neese, Anchorage, Alaska, and Cliff Ozmun, Beaumont, Texas, pulled off the route after seeing a biker collapse. Ozmun, a former military EMT now working in higher education, and another rider administered CPR while Neese, sports copy editor for the Anchorage Daily News, directed traffic around the scene.
"It's the sort of thing you do without thinking," said Neese in retelling the incident. "You hear the cry ‘Biker down' and you just naturally stop and see what you can do."
Ozmun, Neese and an unidentified third Samaritan were six miles into the ride when the biker fell after experiencing chest pains. Paramedics came upon the scene shortly after CPR was started and transported the man to a nearby hospital. His identity and condition remain unknown. A similar incident occurred earlier in the week-a 51-year-old Cedar Rapids man suffered a heart attack Thursday just outside Tipton.
While some were amazed at the trio's heroic efforts, Upper Iowa President Alan Walker had the opposite reaction. "I'm not the least bit surprised that members of our team would stop (to help another biker)," he said. "Anyone who would devote an entire week to helping students would do no less for a fellow rider."
Ozmun and Neese are members of Team Peacock, a group of more than 30 UIU alumni, students, faculty, staff, trustees and friends, who participated for the fourth year in the ride. The team included riders and support crew. Team Peacock rides to raise money for student scholarships. Over $100,000 was raised this year bringing the group's four-year total to over $250,000. Ozmun, former director of Upper Iowa's Waterloo Center, and Neese have ridden with Team Peacock for three years.
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