MUSCATINE, Iowa (BRAIN) — Charles Harper, who owned Harper's Cycling and Fitness for the past 55 years and was a well-regarded Iowa cycling advocate, recently died following a stroke. He was 85.
Harper died May 24 at Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House, 16 days after suffering the stroke. A funeral mass was held May 28.
Before starting Harper's Cycling and Fitness, he worked for Alcoa for many years. In 1994, Harper and three friends cycled from San Diego to St. Augustine, Florida. Harper was a member of The Wheelmen — a nonprofit dedicated to remembering the heritage of American cycling and served as the group's Iowa captain — and of theMelon City Bike Club.
Dan Jennings, Midwest rep for Gear Representation, has known the Harper family for 18 years, with the friendship with Charlie beginning with a tour of the shop and ending "at the back-room refrigerator and an offer of a cold beer."