|Deke began his years of service to cycling in earnest in 1982, when he and Karl Magnuson opened Decorah Bicycles. Deke took over sole ownership of the shop in 1991 and operated for four more years. He and Ron Moffit organized and ran the Midwest Bike Race Series for 7 years. The Decorah Time Trials, an off-road bike race he also organized, just celebrated its 11th anniversary.|
He took a break to work for StoryPeople, Inc. as chief projects officer and to contract computer services to local consulting companies but in March 2001, Deke returned to his first love and opened a new bike shop, Oneota River Cycles.
On Thursday night, July 12, Richard 'Deke' Gosen closed his bike shop and hopped on his bike for home. Just yards from the bike shopís door, he gently dropped his front wheel off the curb ó and it fell -- perfectly, instantly, terribly -- through the diagonal slit of a storm drain, right up to the wheel hub. There was no time in that fraction of a second to defend himself from the blow and he hit the pavement face first. When they found him, he was still holding on to the handlebars.
He was airlifted to Rochester, Minnesota where the people at St. Mary's Hospital worked miracles. Deke had broken every bone in his face, but luckily there was no permanent damage to his brain, eyesight, or spine. Deke endured 15 days in the hospital and 14 hours of surgery. His first operation repaired his fractured lower jaw and broken palate. His mouth was wired shut and he received a tracheotomy because he could not breathe through his nose or mouth until further work was done. The second operation required peeling his face down to repair a cerebral fluid leak and to reconstruct his face from the nose on up--this required 14 plates and 78 screws.
But in just over a month Deke was back at the bike shop, doing what he does best, helping the people who love what he loves. The accident didnít affect his stubborn spirit, and he has more than enough of it to get himself "back in the race." But the truly Himalayan mountain of medical bills that Deke is now facing gives us an opportunity to give him back something for all that he gave us: the fun, the skill, the pride, the friendship that we couldnít have had alone. Thatís what "Back in the Race" is all about. As the jersey Brian Andreas made for Deke says: "today, no matter what it takes, we ride home together."www.decorah.com/backintherace/