The annual bike ride to Rippey returns Saturday, February 5th.
“This is our 45th annual bike ride to Rippey,” Perry Chamber of Commerce CEO Lynsi Pasutti said of the 24-mile winter ride. “Last year we did not have a group start at 10; who returns; that’s what we’re planning – to get back to normal. “
Last year’s trip saw changes made due to COVID-19, including not having a mass launch and sending out all the registration packages. Pasutti said sending out the packages prior to the trip worked so well last year that they are continuing the exercise for this year’s trip.
This year’s T-shirts have arrived and Pasutti said volunteers have been working to get them folded and filled in packages. The first packages will be sent out next week to those who have signed up before January 1st.
Online pre-registration is open through January 23rd on Eventbrite to allow time for packages to be shipped. The Perry Chamber will have a booth at the Iowa Bike Expo on January 29, where Pasutti said they typically pick up some extra registrations. Registration day will also be available at the Hotel Pattee in Perry.
Registration packages include a T-shirt, a memory stick for the first 300 registrants and additional discounts for businesses in the area. Pasutti said bracelets have been added as an added benefit of registration. The bracelets, which can be picked up separately when riders check in, will include five tear-off tabs that can be redeemed for free drinks and discounts from tour sponsors: Hotel Pattee, Perry Hy-Vee, Thirsty Pigs, Tin Pig Tavern and the Proletariat.
Once participants have checked in or registered at the hotel, riders will leave Perry and head to Rippey. Pasutti said he is looking forward to seeing the traditional at. 10.00-start come back in this year’s tour.
“I would really love to have it considered more of a parade – for the community to come out and see and cheer on them,” she said. “We have a really good tradition for parades – people come out to the enlightened parade, July 4th and homecoming. It would be really nice to get people to come out, stand along the streets and cheer on the riders who are on their way out of town. ”
Other options for area residents to get involved in the annual event include volunteer work to help fill packages, set up, check in attendees, sell merchandise and more.
“Buy a T-shirt, come volunteer – lots of different opportunities to get involved and be proud of this long-standing tradition that is whimsical and well-known across the state and beyond,” Pasutti said of the area’s residents.
Pasutti encourages residents to sign up for the tour as well, as the event is the chamber’s largest gathering of the year. About 200 riders had signed up for the event on Jan. 1, with participants from Kansas, Minnesota, Florida and across Iowa.
“It’s our biggest fundraiser this year, so it really sets the tone for the rest of the year,” Pasutti said of the chamber’s annual event calendar.
While BRR is a major fundraiser for the Perry Chamber, other companies and organizations are also involved throughout the day. Plans are still being finalized for this year’s event, but activities will include a concert and pasta bar the day before at the hotel, food and beverage options in Rippey and live music in the afternoon / evening at the Proletariat. Case cart services will also be offered, along with a hot chocolate stop.
“Lots of little things, but a huge collaborative effort,” Pasutti said. “We would not be able to do this without the support of so many other partners, the SAG wagon fire department, the Rippey community and the community organizations that make their fundraisers and, of course, all the sponsors who also have activities. “
All of these partners have helped the annual BRR event continue year after year.
“The fact that we’ve been strong for 45 years is really quite unique,” Pasutti said. “It’s really exciting to be in my position to help carry it forward and do what we can to keep it relevant and fun and safe for everyone.”
“I’m just excited to continue it and keep the tradition going,” she added.
For more information on this year’s event, visit the BRR website or Facebook page. Call the chamber at 515-465-4601 for more information on how to volunteer.