BACooN Ride descends on Waukee for second year6/17/2015
When it comes to bike rides in Iowa, nothing is off limits. From crazy costumes to disjointed routes, here in Des Moines, we love to get out in the summer and see everything our city has to offer. It would seem the only thing folks like more is bacon and a nice craft beer.
“[The BACooN Ride] was a hallway conversation with Brooks Reynolds of the Iowa Bacon Board, TJ Juskiewicz of RAGBRAI and myself,” said Mark Wyatt of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition. “We said we should put together a bacon ride. A couple of meetings later, the BACooN Ride was born.”
The BACooN Ride Too this Saturday, June 20, will set up shop in Waukee and tour the Raccoon River Valley Trail. Riders will travel from Waukee to Adel, Redfield, Linden, Panora, Yale, Herndon, Jamaica, Dawson, Perry, Miniburn, Dallas Center and end back in Waukee for a total of roughly 72 miles (or less by using optional starting points). This is one of the busiest days for businesses on the trail as 3,000 riders are expect to make it out to get their BACooN Ride on.
Like Bacon Fest, this event filled up quickly. So, if you didn’t get the chance to register, don’t worry, now you know for next year. In the meantime, that doesn’t mean you can’t chow down on some grade A pork.
“You need a wristband and PassPORK to participate in the BACooN Ride,” Wyatt said. “If people want to enjoy the festivities, come to Waukee for BACooN Sizzles on Friday or Mickey’s Irish Pub for the [BACooN Ride] afterparty on Saturday.”
Those who are interested in the bacon but tremble at the thought of loading up their gullets and putting pedal to the pavement, BACooN Sizzles Waukee has just what you need. Starting at 5 p.m. on Friday at Centennial Park, the food and beverage garden will be open to everyone. There will also be big wheels racing, giant pong and putting green games. This is also where riders pick up their packets for Sunday’s ride.
Unfortunately, due to the amount of riders anticipated, if you have not registered for this event, you may not ride. But there are other ways to get involved.
“We are still seeking volunteers for crossings,” said Wyatt. “Volunteers can sign up at www.bacoonride.com/volunteer. You get a snazzy yellow vest for signing up.”
Last year’s ride raised $53,000, which was donated to Iowa nonprofits. This year, the main beneficiaries are the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, The Dream Team and Guthrie County Conservation.
“This ride has become a taste of RAGBRAI. It is like a one-day experience without the huge lines and hills,” said Wyatt. “We bring all of the fun and excitement of a bike ride. People are hungry for a ride like this.” CV
BACooN Ride Too: A Second Helpin’
Centennial Park in Waukee, June 20 at 7 a.m. Full route information at bacoonride.com/schedule
BACooN Sizzle Waukee
June 19, 5-11 p.m. Free, Centennial Park in Waukee
David Rowley is an Iowa native with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa and a master’s in film journalism from the University of Glasgow in Scotland.