BIKE VAN BUREN XXIX

Written by Theresa Rose on August 3, 2015

AUGUST 15-16, 2015

The Villages of Van Buren will be hosting the 29th annual Bike Van Buren on August 15-16. Bicycling enthusiasts will pedal their way through 9 historical villages during the 2-day event. Each Village will welcome the bikers with refreshments and outstanding hospitality! All of the routes will lead you through some of the most beautiful countryside in Iowa! You’ll enjoy pedaling your way across a portion of the Historic Hills Scenic Byway, taking in historic river Villages dating back to the 1840’s. You’ll also experience our “prairie villages” where the land is flat and fertile, row crops are prevalent and the friendly down-to-earth folks will welcome you with open arms.
We coin the ride as “Gentle Rolling Hills” although there are a few hills that would be considered “moderate” and a few, which most riders will endure first thing Saturday morning, that some would consider “aggressive.” But no worries, our SAG support is enroute with you and are happy to give you a quick lift to the next hospitality stop or back to Keosauqua, our goal is to make sure you enjoy your weekend!

This year, there will be 3 route options on Saturday. “Deer Run” route will be 68 miles, “Fox Trot” will be 43 miles and the “Bunny Hop” will be 17 miles. Due to road construction, only one route will be offered on Sunday, the “Boomerang” will be 37 miles. On Saturday, some routes will include “Billy Goat’s Pass” with aggressive terrain through Lacey-Keosauqua State Park. All routes will begin and end at the Keosauqua City Park. Some routes have later start times to better accommodate guests having longer travel distances. A Fun Poker Run, will be part of the event on both days. Riders will try to build their best hand of poker by drawing cards at designated hospitality stops. The best hand on each day, will win $100 cash. Bickel’s Cycling & Fitness in Burlington will provide prizes for 2nd, 3rd and 4th place winners.

Stacey Reese, director for the Villages of Van Buren, says, “Offering different route options has been very popular with our riders, as well as having different registration options, 1 or 2 day, adult and a reduced registration for children under 14. We want this to be a fun and affordable ride to encourage families to come spend the weekend with us.”

Bickel’s Cycling & Fitness of Burlington will provide technical support and several sag wagons will be en-route with the riders at all times. Phone numbers for staff support crews are provided on the maps riders will receive upon registration. Riders are encouraged to carry a cell phone. All support crews will be equipped with free cold bottled water, courtesy of Bonaparte Retreat & Kohl’s Food Distributing, and limited first aid.

Registration begins on Saturday morning from 7:00-8:30am at the Keosauqua City Park. On Sunday, registration will be held from 7:30-8:30am in the City Park as well. Registration is available online at www.villagesofvanburen.com and walk-up guests are always welcome! Two day registration fees: Adults: $45, Children $37. Single day registration: Adults: $35, Children $27. Riders will have the option to purchase a lunch band at registration ($7 adults, $5 youth). All participants will receive colored wrist bands that must be worn throughout the event. The wristbands will allow riders to take advantage of 100% complimentary refreshments at each of the 9 hospitality stops throughout the weekend ride.

Saturday’s ride will conclude at the Keosauqua Fire Departments Annual Hog Roast Dinner from 4-6:30pm. For a free-will donation you’ll get a full dinner with melt-in-your-mouth BBQ pork with all the fixin’s and a special treat this year will be live musical entertainment during your dinner. First Street Bar & Grill in downtown Keosauqua will have a DJ from 7pm-11pm. Guests with wristbands will receive a FREE drink of their choice (not to exceed $3.50). The evening’s entertainment is open to the public with no cover charge.

Keosauqua Lions will be serving an all-you-can-eat Pancake & Sausage breakfast ($6) with scrambled eggs, ham, and fresh fruits on both mornings from 7-10am in the Keosauqua City Park. The public is encouraged to attend. The Keosauqua Lions Club has partnered with First Iowa State Bank & Bickel’s Cycling & Fitness to raffle a beautiful 1.2 Trek Road Bike (MSRP:$929). The bike is on display at First Iowa StateBank in Keosauqua. Tickets ($5 each or 5/$20) will be for sale during the Lions breakfast on August 15 and again that afternoon at the Keosauqua Fire Station. The winner will be drawn during the Keosauqua Fireman’s Annual Hog Roast Dinner on Saturday evening, Aug. 15, at 6pm. You need not be present to win. Proceeds will benefit various Lions Club projects.

For more information contact: Villages of Van Buren 800-868-7822 / 319-293-7111 www.villagesofvanburen.com