Jason Bakewell, co-owner of Market to Market Relay/Iowa, was at the Panora trailhead of the Raccoon River Valley Trail on Saturday, April 12, handing off tubs full of race-day equipment that volunteers will use in staffing the runners’ “exchange zones.” The second annual relay will be held on Saturday, May 10, with 300 teams competing in the 75-mile race from the courthouse square in Jefferson to the Court Avenue District of downtown Des Moines. With seven to eight runners per team, nearly 2,200 are expected to compete the event, which uses the south loop of the RRVT, the Clive Greenbelt Trail and then the trails of West Des Moines and Des Moines. The Market to Market Relay/Iowa “charity partners” benefitting from the event here are the Raccoon River Valley Trail Association and “Team in Training” of the Iowa Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The relay organization compensates non-profit organizations that provide volunteers to operate the exchange zones. Market to Market Relay has similar races in Nebraska and, next fall for the first time, southwestern Ohio.
Here are 60 great ideas from Michael Gould, veteran economic development specialist and bicyclist, that had everyone buzzing at the recent “Bike Trail Tourism Conference.” If we make some of them happen on the Raccoon River Valley Trail, the High Trestle Trail or any other recreational trails, we’re sure to have more trail users, more trail-related business and a lot more fun, too!
Greene County steps up to start paving gravel road crossings of the Raccoon River Valley Trail. A $14,750 grant from the county’s Community Foundation, along with a $1,400 donation from the local bike club, start the funding. Paving the RRVT’s crossings in Dallas County has already started. It can probably happen in Guthrie County, too, if sufficient funding is found. Everyone can help with this major trail enhancement.
Wes Ehrecke, who may be the mileage leader in recent years among bicyclists on the Raccoon River Valley Trail, talks about how cycling has led him to “a whole lifestyle change” in the past nine years. It’s also given him 18,622 miles on the bike, a few hundred miles hiking and some “epic adventures” all over the world!
The Raccoon River Valley Trail is a “magical experience,” all right! Its supporters have now stepped up again, with the annual banquet of the RRVT Association netting more than $15,000. It was a great time, too, with magician & comedian Ben Ulin keeping the crowd spellbound for an hour. We share the fun here with a brief story and 28 colorful photos.
Despite new snow in the early hours of Saturday, Feb. 1, hundreds of cyclists made the 10 a.m. mass start of the 37th annual “BRR” from Perry. The temperature was mild, there was almost no wind and the snow was beautiful, making for “one of the prettiest BRR ride starts.” By the time most of the cyclists were riding back from Rippey, they even had a tailwind.
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