The Villages of Van Buren will be hosting the 28th annual Bike Van Buren on August 16-17. Bicycling enthusiasts will pedal their way through 11 historical villages during the weekend event. Different route options were implemented last year and because of their popularity organizers will continue to offer alternative routes to better accommodate all riders, regardless of their level of experience.
This year, there will be 3 route options on each day. Saturday’s “Deer Run” route will be 58.4m., “Turkey Trail” will be 43.4m. and “Bunny Hop” will be 31.2m. Sunday includes “Jack Rabbit” with 52.9 m., “Fox Trot” encompasses 34m. and the “Boomerang” is 17.2m. On Sunday, 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. Saturday’s ride will incorporate a Fun Poker Run, where riders will try to build their best hand of poker by drawing cards at each hospitality stop. The best hand will win $100 cash. Bickel’s Cycling & Fitness and Trek will provide prizes for 2nd, 3rd and 4th place winners.
Stacey Reese, director for the Villages of Van Buren, says, “The varying route options were very well-received in 2013 so we’ve attempted to offer similar options again this year. We’ve also continued with the new registration fees for adults and children as well as 1 or 2 day ride options. Lunch and Commemorative T-shirts are available as separate purchase options. Continuing 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.
Registration begins on Saturday morning from 7:00-9:30am at the Keosauqua City Park. On Sunday, registration will be held from 7:30-10:00am 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 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 11 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! 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 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 1.2 Trek Road Bike (MSRP:$929). The bike is on display at Community First Bank in Keosauqua. Tickets ($5 each or 5/$20) will be for sale during the Lions breakfast on August 16 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. 16, at 6pm. You need not be present to win. Proceeds will benefit various Lions Club projects.