Cycling event ready for its eighth year
WORTHINGTON — Organizers of the annual Regatta Bike Ride are hoping this year’s event bears no resemblance to the 2013 version.
That’s because last year’s ride, which is coordinated yearly by the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce’s Sports and Recreation Committee, never left the starting line due to cold and rainy weather. Though it’s too early to predict the weather for June 14 — unless one is writing for The Old Farmer’s Almanac — committee member Kenton Meier is hopeful the sun will be out.
“The number of participants has really varied because of the weather,” Meier said Wednesday afternoon. “We’ve had in the low 40s in the past, and we’d like to see that grow.”
Participants in the event can ride a 15-, 30- or 50-mile route. The eighth annual ride is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. June 14 following 8 a.m. registration.
“There is a family that has been doing the ride for years, but otherwise it’s mostly adults,” Meier said. “I’d like to see some families doing it, too; the 15 miles would be nice for them.”
The 15- and 30-mile routes have been the same throughout the event’s existence, while the 50-miler has varied.
“The 50-mile loop (this year) will kind of loop all the way around town — it will go on the west side and then come back into town on the north side,” Meier explained.
There will be rest areas scattered along the routes, Meier said, and volunteers will be on the routes to give out water as well as snacks such as peanuts and M&M’s.
“You go at your own pace,” he added. “This is not a race; it’s just for fun.”
Meier has enjoyed his share of cycling fun, and his affection for riding helped get the event started in the first place.
“I like to bike ride; it’s my passion,” he said. “Okoboji has this kind of an event, and when the Sports and Recreation Committee talked about what events we could have, this came up. Then, we had the idea of pairing this up with the Regatta.”
Meier’s love for cycling has led him to participate in RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) the last eight years. The Worthington event may be significantly smaller in scale, but he’s thankful it’s become part of the Regatta tradition. He’s also grateful for the volunteers who help the ride take place, as well as law enforcement officials who help both at the start and along the routes.
Each registrant will get a T-shirt as well as a Regatta lunch ticket. The early registration deadline is June 1; individuals may register up until the morning of the event for an additional cost.
“There are a lot of people who like to ride their bike around the lake in Worthington,” Meier said. “One feature about this that’s kind of nice is that it can get on country roads and take the adventure out there. … We hope a lot of people decide to join us.”
Daily Globe Managing Editor Ryan McGaughey may be reached at 376-7320.