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Community Highlight

Community Highlight is a series that focuses on people who are involved in the local biking community either as bikers or supporters of the community. Each month we will highlight a different individual and what they do to support the biking community.

Mark Dix - February 2023

Our next 'Community Highlight' is Mark Dix.  Mark is semi-retired as an Insurance Agency owner in Nora Springs and realtor with Century 21 Preferred where he has enjoyed working with the public for the last 35 years.  Mark grew up as a farm kid in Greene, Iowa where he would get on his twenty inch bike every chance he got.  He fondly remembers buying a banana seat, raised bars and building up a Schwinn Stingray.  He notes that he was a bit reckless with this bike when he survived a near miss by a feed truck when he was bombing out of the farm driveway.  When he outgrew his bike he quickly lost interest in biking for the next 30 years.  

In 1993 a client, LeRoy Stonecypher, stopped at the insurance office.  He was preparing for a ride across America called the 'Pacific to Atlantic tour in 30 days'.  Mark had expressed interest in this challenge of riding 3000 miles in 30 days.  LeRoy sold Mark his old bike - a Trek 820 touring bike for a song.  LeRoy was a part of the "North Iowa Touring Club" and was telling stories of rides the club sponsored and other activities.  Marks first ride with the club was a 65 miler called the “Leaf Lookers Ride” in Decorah.  There he joined Bob Krueger and Bill Neal for the longest ride he had ever attempted.  Mark survived the steep hills of Northeast Iowa, a dog chase and head winds so strong you had to pedal downhill.  He felt totally exhausted yet thrilled with his accomplishment.  He knew then and there that he was hooked on cycling.  He loves how cycling provides an outlet and is an excellent source for exercise.  "The best part of cycling is it keeps a person in excellent physical condition so with this hobby I can justify the expense because it is supports my physical condition."  He notes that the problem with improved technology and competitive cycling is there is always something better.  Mark thinks that he is now on his sixth carbon framed bike.  His favorite is still his road bike followed by his mountain bike, fat tire bike and just purchased a designated gravel bike.  He has discovered Tucson for winter riding.  It is a haven for cyclist, with dedicated trails, mountain climbs and excellent bike clubs for organized rides.   

When asked why he chooses Wayne's Ski and Cycle as his shop of choice, he thinks back to when he purchased his first new bicycle from Wayne’s - a 5200 carbon bicycle.  He noted that it was "a true hot rod compared to the steel touring bike I had."  Mark said that "Matt at Wayne’s is always supportive of our rides, helping to support and promote any way possible.  He's provided swag, bicycle repair and advertising for any bike function."  Mark went on to say that, "Wayne’s provides storage for NITC spin class, storing trainers, stereo equipment and mats.  They are always there to lend a helping hand.  I am proud to reciprocate and direct my bicycle business to Wayne’s for what he does for the community and the excellent service he provides."

Derek Mauser - January 2023

Our first ‘Community Highlight’ is Derek Mauser of Osage, Iowa. Derek is a third-generation member of Mauser Insurance, a crop insurance business that his grandfather founded in 1981. Derek has always liked bikes and vividly remembers riding Schwinn Sting-Ray’s in his youth. Roughly 8 years ago Derek wanted to get back into biking. He came into Wayne’s Ski and Cycle looking for an “old person” bike where he could comfortably cruise around town and nothing more. He remembers seeing a Trek Farley 5 in the shop and asked “what the deal was about these fat tire bikes.” He was encouraged to take it on a test ride to see how much fun you can have on one. All it took was one test ride and he found his new passion.

When asked what kind of riding he enjoys the most he said; “single track, hands down, every time.” He said that he loves it because it has a motocross energy to it. Derek’s love of biking further evolved after he rode single track mountain bike trails at Levis Mounds in Wisconsin and Cuyuna Lakes Trails in Minnesota. He then noticed the community that had been growing in Mason City and how the trail system had been quickly expanding because of the large community involvement. Derek put together a power point and presented it to Mitchell County. He really focused on eco tourism, which is tourism that is directed toward healthy outdoor activities that promote the local environment and economy. What started as a solo venture of flagging and designing trail on county land quickly blossomed into a group of like-minded individuals that became a group called the “Mitchell County Mountain Goats”. This group has become responsible for maintaining and expanding the trail system into Osage. Derek noted that they wouldn’t be able to maintain and grow their trails without the community support of The Goats and others who volunteer their valuable time.

When asked why he chooses Wayne’s Ski and Cycle, he said that he feels that the crew at Wayne’s is as enthusiastic about riding as he is. Derek feels that it’s an environment where there is no such thing as a “stupid” question - that he can ask anything without being judged. He really enjoys Wayne’s because he feels like the shop is invested in him and his experience while biking. Derek feels that as his riding ability has progressed that we have been in tune with his evolving needs and been able to equip him to have the best experience possible.

Derek said that the future is what really excites him. The future being Osage continuing to expand their trail system and Mason City heavily investing in their trail system in conjunction with the Destination Iowa Grant last year. He feels that there is some neat stuff coming up over the next few years where this area can become a tourist destination for many different levels of bikers and outdoor recreation enthusiasts. Derek was a delight to interview, and we thank him for everything he has done to promote biking in the community!