Y Inspired Story - Meet Ron

Salem Y member rides across Iowa

September 18, 2017

Ron Sweeney became a member of the Salem Family YMCA in 2012 after his wife passed away and his doctor’s recommendation to lose weight.  Ron decided to jump start his journey of a healthier lifestyle by signing up for a boot camp, and although the road was initially tough, he consistently stayed enrolled in new boot camp sessions.

It was through boot camps Ron was exposed to cycling, and enjoyed it so much he started incorporating cycle classes into his daily workout routine. This past July Ron took his love and passion for cycling to a different level when he signed up for the 45th annual, 7 day, 400 plus mile Ragbrai Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa.  Ron selected this particular race because it allowed him to get back to his roots, since he was born in Iowa and went to school at the University of Iowa.

In preparation for the event, Ron practiced riding at Salem two hours a day and cross trained by taking both boot camps and Body Pump classes. He also completed a 50 mile trial bike ride from Richmond to Williamsburg since he would be riding 40-60 miles per day on average during his ride across Iowa.

Ron’s favorite part about being a member of the Salem Family YMCA is the people.  “I enjoy the people and the friendships you create,” said Ron. The ambiance is also very family-oriented.”  

Pictured is Ron taking part in a Ragbrai tradition where cyclists start the race by dipping their rear tire in the Missouri River located in the Western part of the state.  At the end of the race cyclists dip their front tire in the Mississippi River located in the eastern part of the state.