The twenty-seven year old event has been reorganized to better accommodate the growing number of bicycle riders that enjoy the weekend trek through the 11 historic Villages of Van Buren County in Southeast Iowa.
The route options have changed. This year there will be four route alternatives on Saturday. The Boomerang ride is 18 miles and includes Billy Goat’s Pass with aggressive terrain through Lacey-Keosauqua State Park. Turkey Trail ride is 29 miles with primarily flat prairie. Fox Trot is 34 miles and begins with Billy Goats Pass then terrain is primarily flat with gentle rolling hills. Deer Run is the full ride and includes 70 miles. On Sunday, three route options will be offered, the Hare-Raiser (24 m.) and the Bunny Hop (32m.) both have mostly flat terrain with gentle rolling hills. Jackrabbit Run is the full route with 46 miles. 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.
Stacey Reese, director for the Villages of Van Buren explains, “This year, we are offering the different route options to allow riders, regardless of their level of experience, to participate in this great event. The registration fee is now all-inclusive, hospitality stops are 100% complimentary with your wristband. We also decided to offer the commemorative T-shirt as a separate purchase option instead of including it in the registration fee. All of these changes, we hope, will make for an even better and more affordable family-friendly bike ride.”
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.
Another new change includes the pricing structure with one & two day registration fees as well as reduced registration for children under 14. Registration begins on Saturday morning from 7:00-10:00am at the Keosauqua City Park. On Sunday, registration will be held from 7:30-9:00am in the City Park as well. Registration is available online at www.villagesofvanburen.com and walk-ups registrants are always welcome! Two day registration: Adults: $45, Children $37. Single day registration: Adults:$35, Children $27 All participants will receive colored wrist bands that must be worn throughout the event. The wristbands will allow riders to take advantage of complimentary refreshments at each of the 14 hospitality stops throughout the weekend ride.
Lunch will be available along the routes at a nominal cost or riders will have the option to purchase a lunch band at registration. Saturday’s lunch will be an old-fashioned Amish BBQ picnic with burgers, hotdogs, brats, potato salad, baked beans, homemade desserts & drinks. Sunday’s lunch will include Chicken Wraps, fruit, chips, ice cream and drinks. Lunch stops on both days are open to the public.
Saturday’s ride will conclude at the Keosauqua Fire Departments Annual Hog Roast Dinner. For a free-will donation you’ll get a full dinner with melt-in-your-mouth BBQ pork with all the fixin’s. First Street Bar & Grill in downtown Keosauqua will have a live band, Spazm, from 7pm-11pm. Guests with wristbands will receive their first drink FREE! 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 ($7) with scrambled eggs 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 Community First Bank & Bickel’s Cycling & Fitness to raffle a brand new, beautiful 1.5 Trek Road Bike (MSRP:$1240). The bike is on display at Community First Bank in Keosauqua where tickets may be purchased for $5 each or 5/$20. Tickets will be for sale during the Lions breakfast on August 17 and again that afternoon at the Keosauqua Fire Station. You may also order tickets by calling Gary Kingsberry at 319-293-3269. The winner will be drawn during the Keosauqua Fireman’s Annual Hog Roast Dinner on Saturday evening, Aug. 17, at 6pm. You need not be present to win. Proceeds will benefit various Lions Club projects.
Specially designed, commemorative T-shirts with moisture management qualities will be available for purchase ($21) and will be mailed to participants after the event.
For more information contact: Villages of Van Buren 800-868-7822 / 319-293-7111 www.villagesofvanburen.com