What do you get when you combine bicycles and bacon? RAGBRAI, the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival, and the Iowa Bicycle Coalition have set up the ultimate training ride for bacon lovers who want to see if they have what it takes to take on the challenge of RAGBRAI. The BACooN Ride: A Ride for the Cured is a bacon-filled ride through Raccoon River Valley Trail and multiple cities in and out of the Metro. There will be food stops sponsored by Central Iowa restaurants and vendors, live entertainment, beverage gardens, and lots of exercise for all involved.
The BACooN Ride will kick off on Friday, June 27 with a packet pick-up at the Waukee High School parking lot (4 p.m. to 9 p.m.) and a pre-party and camping across the street in Centennial Park (4 p.m. to 11 p.m.) The pre-party will feature a beverage garden with Peace Tree Brewery, live music by The Swing Crew, photo opportunities, "Ranger Games", STAR 102.5 FM. broadcasting live, and food from the Hotel Pattee, Hy-Vee, Brewer Family Farms, Local Yocals, and Honey Badger BBQ.
Saturday, June 28 will start off in Centennial Park with a packet pick-up for late arrivals (6 p.m. to 9 p.m.), a free bacon and egg breakfast taco from the Iowa Egg Council and the Waukee Fire Department, coffee and juice provided by the Waukee Downtown Triangle businesses, and NASH 97.3 FM hosting music, games, prizes and giveaways. Riders will then trek to Adel for a bacon stop (7 a.m. to 11 a.m.) at The Rendezvous Lounge for a free Maple Bacon Glazed Donut provided by Honey Badger BBQ. Screwdrivers and Bloody Mary's are available for purchase on the lounge's patio and tallboys are available in the Brick Yard Beer Garden on Main Street.
From there, riders will bike to Redfield (7:30 a.m. to noon) for free bacon samples at the Redfield Locker. Redfield will be in the middle of their Old Settler’s Celebration, so there will be activities going on in the town all day, including live music in the morning from Ghost Riders. Restaurants and vendors all over town will have bacon-themed foods like chocolate-covered bacon, apple bacon cheddar cupcakes, bacon cheeseburger pizza, and more available for purchase.
From Redfield, riders will cycle to Linden (7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) The Linden Landing will have a variety of beverages and foods available for purchase from vendors including Caramel Apples, Apple/Bacon Pastries, and Apple Slushies from Applishus and Bacon Breakfast Pizza from Casey’s. Then riders will head out to Panora for a free Bacon Cheeseburger Slider at PJ's. PJ's will also have Smoked Chops on a Stick, Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwiches and BBQ Kettle Chips for sale. Peace Tree Brewing Company will also be on hand to offer beer, vodka, spiked lemonade, and bacon-themed drinks. There will be a variety of activities available in Panora for riders that need a little extra time before heading on to the next stop.
Riders will ride through Yale and Herndon (8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.) before their next stop in Jamaica for a free BLT Slider at ToJo's. Then riders will bike through Dawson (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) before stopping for a pork and bacon taco from Taqueria Villa in Perry (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Taqueria Villa, the Perry Hy-Vee, and the Hotel Pattee will have food available for purchase, as well. There will be live music from Hearts of Hedons at The Kickstand (1 p.m. to 3 p.m.), Infuzion at The Crooked Rail (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.), and Homegrown Tomatoes in the Hotel Pattee's Soumas Court (1 p.m. to 5 p.m.).
After Perry, riders will pedal to Minburn for live music and craft beer (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) Backpocket Brewery will be serving beer in Meek (Triangle) Park (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), and Code Blue will perform (1 p.m. to 5 p.m.) After Minburn, riders are off to Dallas Center (noon to 6 p.m.) for a free Bacon Sundae from The Korner Kone. The Smokehouse will be serving bacon pork sliders, and The Korner Kone will offer several other bacon-themed treats, as well. The Longest Yard Grill will have live pro wrestling from Impact Pro Wrestling and music from Oreo Meatwagon.
Cyclists will then head back to Waukee for a post party at Mickey's Irish Pub. The pub will have live music from Lesson 7, a beer garden, food, and vendors from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. There will be a free shuttle back to Centennial Park, where there will again be free camping for the night.
The menus are subject to change. Registration for the BACooN Ride is still open for one more day for $60. The first 2000 riders will receive a BACooN Ride steel pint and t-shirt. Proceeds from the BACooN Ride will go to the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, RAGBRAI’s Dream Team, and a number of Iowa charities. For more information on the BACooN Ride: A Ride for the Cured, go to the event's website or Facebook page.