TERRIL–Mike Leegard calls himself the human power plant.
Solar panels behind his recumbent help keep his younger sisters connected to the world during the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa.
“I don’t have a smart phone but I’m the power plant,” Leegard said while powering through from Milford to Terril Monday morning.
His solar setup can charge two iPads and three phones – two of them smart.
Leegard, of White Bear Lake, Minn., started riding a recumbent about 15 years ago because it minimizes stress on a rotator cuff injury.
He said a recumbent bike makes for a much more relaxed, even pace ride, even if it is a bit slower than a traditional two-wheel set up.
“I can go all day. Just hunker down in the afternoons and cruise,” 53-year-old Leegard said.
This year marks his first RAGBRAI, but he traversed Iowa solo in a recumbent, from north to south, about 10 years ago. 20140721-091714-33434526.jpg

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