After its postponement because of rough weather in late May, the Iowa Bicycle Festival is now scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 10.
The event promises to be as full as originally scheduled. The new date coincides with an organized bicycle rally already planned in Jefferson. The “PIGS” (that stands for “Paired Iowans Going Somewhere”) are a group of tandem bike riders from across Iowa and beyond. They are scheduled to be here for three days of cycling and fun on the Raccoon River Valley Trail and other routes. John Brunow, chairperson of the Iowa Bicycle Festival, reported “there are 45 to 50 tandem teams already registered for the PIGS gathering, so that will give us a good base to build on for the festival on that Saturday.”
Festival events will run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a wide variety of activities designed to make it a community celebration to be enjoyed by all.
Whether it is a morning ride on the Raccoon River Valley Trail, a late-morning parade, a steel band and other live music, food vendors, bike vendors, a fashion show of biking apparel or working with a graffiti artist, everything about the festival will be fun for all ages.
Community members are encouraged to participate in the 11 a.m. parade, which begins at Russell Park, by decorating and riding their bikes. Those not wanting to participate are encouraged to watch from the sidelines. Last year kids of all ages came with decorated and unique bikes to show off.
The parade is led by the buses of bicycle teams that participate in RAGBRAI each year. The parade sponsor is the Kum & Go convenience store chain, and their “Team Kum & Go” RAGBRAI group serves as the parade’s grand marshal. RAGBRAI teams are well known for their clever and creatively painted buses, so the parade should be quite the spectacle.
Leading the music line-up is the upbeat “Tropical Steel” drum band from Des Moines, performing from 2 to 4 p.m., on the shaded north lawn of the courthouse.
Another noteworthy event is acclaimed graffiti artist Taylor Smith, 21, returning this year to lead his second public painting of a RAGBRAI team bus. The bus being painted this year is owned by Team Curbside, based in Panora.
The Iowa Bicycle Festival will indeed be “celebrating the bicycle and those who ride it,” as the event’s motto goes. But there’s a whole lot for everybody, including a wide variety of food, bicycle-related activities for all ages, and live music all afternoon.
More information and a full schedule of events can be found at www.Iowabicyclefestival.com.