Marion County — A search party was organized last week during the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI®) for a diamond in the rough. A bride-to-be lost her engagement ring along the trail.
Lt. Kevin Boldt of the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office met the love of his life, Sarah, while training for RAGBRAI over four years ago. The 2013 edition was the fifth the two had participated in.
Near Beekman's Ice Cream, Sarah stopped to apply sunscreen. To do so, she removed the engagement ring Boldt had given her. She rolled the ring up in the elastic band of her bicycle shorts and continued to ride. At some point, she lost the ring.
They had an idea of where the ring may have been lost. It was reported to the Iowa State Patrol, east of Monroe. When they made it to Knoxville, the lost ring was reported to RAGBRAI officials.
Marion County Sheriff Jason Sandholdt transported Boldt back to Monroe to begin searching for the ring. Boldt walked down the southbound lane of the highway, in the hopes of finding it.
“I walked probably about three miles,” Boldt said. He then turned around and started walking in the other direction.
By this time, other bikers had begun to stop. They offered to help him search.
“I was out there for probably four hours,” Boldt said. Then, just when he was about to give up and resolve himself to the fact that the search may not succeed, he heard someone call out, “We found it!”
“I couldn't believe it,” Boldt said. He went to the young lady. Though he did not catch her name, he learned that she is from the state of Washington. He gave her his business card and asked her to call or email, to give her a reward.
“She hasn't done that yet,” Boldt said. “I'm hoping she does.”
Boldt worked with Sandholdt to arrange transportation back to Knoxville. Upon Boldt's triumphant return, he offered his fiance the ring once again.
“I got to propose to her a second time,” Boldt said. “She was very happy, and obviously, she accepted.”
The couple, who met and were bound by an enthusiasm for biking, had previously planned to schedule their wedding around RAGBRAI.
“We ride together a lot,” Boldt said. “What better to do than get married on RAGBRAI?”
The next day, they rode into Oskaloosa as scheduled. They were married at the Cavalry Bible Church.
Boldt, who had never lost anything on a RAGBRAI before, praised Sandholdt for his willingness to help and for taking the time to search, even though the Sheriff had other things to do. Boldt also wanted to thank Marion County dispatchers, Iowa State Patrol, the other riders and everyone who took the time to help him in his hour of need.