OTTUMWA — Fifty bicyclists will travel nearly 50 miles Saturday, exploring the Historic Hills Byway and tasting local foods.
The event will run 47 miles and go through Ottumwa, Blakesburg, Unionville, Drakesville and Bloomfield, beginning at Market on Main in Ottumwa and concluding at the Davis County Courthouse in Bloomfield.
Some of the perks of participating include admission to historic attractions and a view of Iowa's nature.
"I want people to see what a little community has to offer," said Byway Coordinator Katy Anderson. "People will find the little steakhouses and local shops at each stop."
There will be locally made refreshments at each stop along the route.
There is a fee to participate, and registration will continue from 7-9 a.m. Saturday at Market on Main. The event will last approximately five hours. Each participant's time will be different depending on how long riders explore each stop.
"The whole reason for the event is to do something different to promote and appreciate our byway," said Mark Eckman of the Ottumwa Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
There are 11 scenic byways in Iowa with the most popular being the Iowa Great River Road, which follows the flow of the Mississippi River though Iowa. According to Anderson, Bike the Byway will draw attention to the local scenic byway and "give everyone along the byway the chance to see all the things that southeast Iowa has to offer."
The route will include free admission to Blakesburg's Air and Power Museum and a stop at Lake Wapello State Park. There will also be "free Iowa beauty, wildlife and parks. And hills. All those hills will definitely be free," joked Anderson.
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