The Bike Ride To Rippey, best known as BRR, still marks the beginning of the bike-riding season for many riders far and wide.
The 38th BRR is always on the first Saturday of February, and this year the first Saturday is on Feb. 7. There has never been a BRR canceled for weather or anything else.
“The ride goes on whether it is below zero or 60 degrees, and we’ve had both over the years,” Wilson said.
Regular hard-core BRR participants claim doing the 27 mile ride to Rippey and back to Perry fighting snow, sleet and cold temperatures brings out the true meaning of BRR. Mild temperatures and no snow, however, bring more people to Perry for the event.
“We have a regular group of about 1,200 people who show up for the ride no matter what the weather,” Wilson said. “But when the weather is nice, we’ll have more than 3,000 riders.”
Participating in BRR is kind of a right of passage thing for the riding community, kind of a bucket list thing, Wilson said.
People come from all over the state, and from Minnesota, Missouri and sometimes California and other states as well.
“We ask people that question… Why come to BRR,” Wilson said. “The answer is “ ‘why not.’ Cyclists are an awesome group of people outgoing and adventurous.”
The ride begins at 10 a.m. with pre-registration at Hotel Pattee on Willis Avenue. Riders are encouraged, however to pre-register at bikeiowa.com. Registered riders will receive a BRR shirt and breakfast, and be entered into drawing for a bunch of Perry Bucks with one of the prizes $500. Perry Bucks can be spent at any Chamber-member business in Perry
New to the event this year will be a post-ride party at La Poste. “The Raccoon River Boys” and “Al Smith’s” bands will be playing. The event is a chance for community members to mingle with the riders.
“We really want to locals to come out and be a part of the event. That is what makes the ride interesting and stand out to people,” Wilson said.
What people sometimes forget is that the BRR ride is the Perry Chamber of Commerce’s largest chamber fundraiser, he said.
There also is a huge breakfast put on as a fundraiser by the Lions Club at the Hotel Pattee. The public is welcome to come to that breakfast as well.
There is always a ton of celebrating going on, but it is a family-friendly ride, Wilson said.