The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

April 22, 2014

Bike the Byway coming to southeast Iowa

OTTUMWA — The first Bike the Byway ride will feature communities along the Historic Hills Scenic Byway and make for a fun day of bike riding.

Scheduled for June 21, the ride will begin in Ottumwa and take cyclists through Blakesburg, Unionville, Drakesville and Bloomfield.

The ride was developed to feature communities along the Historic Hills Scenic Byway. Ottumwa is working hard to make a fun and festive early morning send-off for cyclists. Starting at Market on Main in Ottumwa, riders can check in from 7-9 a.m. and get rolling down the route. From Market on Main, the route will take riders on the Ottumwa Trails to Mary Street, where the route takes a turn west toward Blakesburg. In Blakesburg, sweet treats will await riders at the park where the route will head south down scenic T61.

Cyclists will surely need a break when they arrive in Unionville after the hills of T61, and rest assured the Unionville Methodist Church will refuel the riders before they head east toward Drakesville. If the 47-mile ride isn’t quite enough, cyclists can add an optional loop through Lake Wapello State Park before they head into Drakesville. The park promises scenic views, a few hills and maybe even a dip in the lake. In Drakesville, more sweets and beverages will keep the riders fueled before the final leg of the route into Bloomfield. The route will end at the Bloomfield Courthouse lawn, where riders will be welcomed by the community and the Bloomfield Main Street. Food and entertainment as well as transportation will await in Bloomfield.

Riders are encouraged to register prior to May 1 for the early-bird discount. After May 1, the registration fee will go from $20 to $25. Proceeds from this event will benefit the local efforts of Historic Hills Scenic Byway and hopefully support future rides. Information can be found on the Bike the Byway website at

With each registration, participants will receive a bag full of goodies from participating communities. This event started as the small vision of the Byway volunteers and has blossomed into a multi-community collaborative effort. Many partners are working together to make this event a success.


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