A down economy may have affected the number of participants, but that did nothing to dampen the spirits of the seven riders who took part in VEMRAI last weekend. Event Organizer Mike Foster says the beautiful weather made the trip from near Clinton all the way to Bellevue, Nebraska, very enjoyable, but says the last 70 miles were the toughest.

The trip included overnight stops in Monroe and Cumberland and lasted from Friday to Sunday. Foster adds that the riders also nominated their fellow travelers with prizes for oldest bike, most breakdowns, most customized, most money raised.

VEMRAI stands for “Vermeer Employee Moped Ride Across Iowa” and raised money for the company’s “Vermeer Cares” program for the second year in a row. The program aids employees in crisis situations.

Foster says they’re still gathering pledges from the ride, but thinks they may have reached their goal of $3,000 and says riders are already looking forward to next year’s event.

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