Bike tour returning
to area this August
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 5:45 AM
Hundreds of bicyclists from around the nation will be riding throughout Fillmore County in August as part of the Bicycling Around Minnesota's (BAM) annual tour.
BAM is a non-profit organization which started in 2006 with goals of promoting bicycling for exercise and transportation as well as highlighting the Scenic Bikeways System of Minnesota through annual rides. BAM had last visited Fillmore County in 2009 when the four-day, four-city tour stopped in Lanesboro. This year, the cities of Peterson and Preston will host riders along with LeRoy and Austin in Mower County.
BAM will begin and end its tour in Preston. A maximum of 275 riders will arrive on Wednesday, Aug. 13, with a majority of them camping at the fairgrounds. The Fillmore County Ag Society worked with BAM to provide parking and tent camping space. A small number of riders may spend the evening at the Country Trails Inn & Suites.
Details are still being worked out about which vendors and entertainment will be available when riders arrive.
The next four days will see the riders travel between 60 and 80 miles per day, stopping in one of the four host cities for the evening. On Aug. 14, riders will leave Preston and head toward Peterson, likely using the Root River State Trail.
Once in Peterson riders will be able to take advantage of Amish buggy tours, the Peterson Station Museum and even take tours of the Peterson Fish Hatchery. Details on what will be available that day may change as the tour date nears.
According to Peterson city council member Gail Boyum, the Rutabaga Brothers will be performing that evening. Burdey's Café will be providing the meals during the rider's stay in Peterson and will be served at the Rushford-Peterson Middle School.
After camping at the football field, the riders will travel 73 miles to LeRoy on Aug. 15. Plans are currently to allow camping at South Park, but City Clerk Patty White said a few people may be staying in private homes or Sweet's Hotel. Riders will be able to visit Lake Louise State Park, Artesian Fresh and otherwise enjoy the evening in LeRoy.
"By bringing people through here, we hope they can see the beauty of this part of the state and that our businesses will feel some economic impact," White said.
Day three will have the riders travel about 65 miles to Austin where they will visit the SPAM Museum and Mower County Historical Society. The weekend will wrap up with the tour ending back in Preston Aug. 17.
The BAM organization had notified cities of their tour several months ago. Cities sent in applications and spoke over the phone with tour organizers about what their town would have to offer. The host cities were alerted the last week of January with ride registration opening up on Jan. 29.
Cities will be providing water and electricity for a shower truck BAM is bringing along. All meal, camping, activity admission, mechanical and luggage support costs throughout the tour are included in the $295 registration fee.
The ride, which is extremely popular, filled up in 12 hours this year.