Catonsville resident Kurt Delker, center, his son, Zach, and his father, Mel, were among the thousands of bicycle riders who spent last week cycling across Iowa in the 40th RAGBRAI (the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa). (Submitted photo / July 31, 2012)

Kurt Delker found a unique way to spend time with his family and see a part of America this summer.

He went bicycling across Iowa with his 82-year-old father and 15-year-old son as part of the RAGBRAI (the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) July 22-28.

The three were among nearly 10,000 riders who took part in the annual seven-day bicycle ride that is the oldest, largest and longest bicycle touring event in the world.

Cyclists follow a route that changes every year and averages 468 miles over terrain that is not always flat. The ride, which celebrates its 40th year this summer, begins near Iowa's western border on the Missouri River and ends along the eastern border on the Mississippi River.


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To prepare to ride an average of 67 miles a day through the Iowa countryside, Kurt and son Zach hit the bike trail aroundBaltimore-Washington International Airportevery chance they could.

Father Mel is always prepared, having ridden in the race for 21 years!

Cyclists camp out each night and enjoy the hospitality of towns along the route with dinner served by local churches, Boy Scout or Girl Scout troops, 4-H clubs, and VFW post volunteers.

Camping provides its own unique challenges.

"Had a big storm blow through last night, 71 mph winds and got evacuated to the local shelter around 9:00," Kurt wrote in an email dated July 26.

"Got back to our tents around 11:00. My tent was collapsed with about 3 inches of water, Zach's tent had a couple and we picked Dad's tent up to drain the water out. Got everything mopped up and slept in a soggy tent for a few hours before starting the day. Have 87 miles today but at least it will be about 10 degrees cooler. Set a record of 106 yesterday with the temp on the road being 112."

Brady Wiggins, 20, is spending his summer traveling with Julio Iglesias World Tour and having the time of his life.

A DJ/producer/electronic music solo artist, he has been to Beirut, Monaco and Canada in addition to several stops in the United States.

The 2010 Catonsville High grad, now a music student at theUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore County, also composes electronic music.

Olivia Nicolaus, the valedictorian for Catonsville High's Class of 2012, went to London last month after three days in Chapel Hill for freshman orientation at the University of North Carolina.

She was joined by 24 fellow freshmen from the Honors Program at UNC and four professor chaperons for a week of fun in England.

"I learned about plant genomics in Kew Gardens, touredSotheby'sart gallery, and saw Henry V in the Globe Theater. We also drank lots of tea and rode the London Eye (a sightseeing wheel 135 meters high that can carry up to 800 passengers in 32 capsules rotating at a speed of .6 mph, according to its website), as well as checking out the major tourist attractions," she said.

Speaking of London, recent Catonsville High School graduates Clay McCoy, Duncan Berry and Kevin Jackson are in London this week visiting Clay's aunt and checking out the Olympics.

They plan to see the women's soccer, beach volleyball and women's basketball competitions.

Clay will attend University of Michigan in the fall while Duncan will go to the University of South Carolina and Kevin will head to Pennsylvania and Lafayette College.

Jamie Dubyoski is enjoying plebe summer at the Naval Academy.