DecoRide Bikes for a Cause


Riders gather at Pulpit Rock Brewery after the ride. Featured from left to right (back): Sadie Pichelmann (‘23), Katie Dore (‘23), Emma Pichelmann (‘25), Souksakhone Sengsaisouk (‘23), and Uddam Chea (‘23). (front): Sydney Clausen (‘23) and Sara Gehling (‘23). Photo courtesy of Sydney Clausen (‘23).

On Saturday, May 6, a group of Luther College students hosted the first-ever DecoRide. It was a chilly, rainy morning, but a large group of riders gathered together at Will Baker Park. With apples and water bottles in hand, bikers set off on the 11-mile ride. After a brief student pep talk, the riders were off to the races. 

DecoRide was organized in hopes of raising money for the Decorah Free Clinic. The clinic provides healthcare and health based education to uninsured or under-insured individuals. Services which the clinic provides range from medications and lab tests to dental screenings. Member of DecoRide organizing team, Souksakhone Sengsaisouck (‘23) reflected on the ways in which the event hopes to give back to the community. 

“We were really happy to see the turnout of the event, especially with the rain,” said Sengsaisouk. “We are donating all of the registration fees and t-shirt collections to the free clinic, so we are super thankful to people for coming out and participating.”

The event was open to the entire community, and there was a large turnout of both community members and Luther students. Many who came to the event were motivated by its goal to raise money for the Decorah Free Clinic. Student attendee, Mariah Huenke (‘26), reflected on the experience, saying that she felt it was worth it despite the weather. 

“Even though it was raining, it was nice to bring my friends out and experience it,” Huenke said. “It was only a $5 registration fee and I knew that it was going to a good cause. 

Once the weather cleared it ended up being a super nice bike ride with friends.”

As for the ride itself, there were stops along the 11-mile route to allow riders to air up their tires and grab water and a snack. There were plenty of volunteers who helped keep everyone on the trail. Rider Alexis Hardwood (‘26) who faced a few difficulties throughout the ride was grateful for the help. 

“It was super helpful to have the stations and people helping along the way, especially when my bike tires got flat,” Hardwood said. “Several people helped me and got my tires pumped up and gave me water along the way.” 

In total, the event raised $8000 and had 107 riders. It can be said that it was a successful first DecoRide.