Downtown Perry was taken over by bike riders on Saturday, June 16 as the BACooN Ride made its way through town.

Thousands of bikers rode the Raccoon River Valley Trail (RRVT) from Waukee to Dallas Center to Minburn before making a stop at the Hotel Pattee in Perry Saturday morning.

The heat and humidity forecast for Saturday didn’t seem to affect the riders.

“The ride organizers have kept us informed with emails all week to prepare. But the wind really helps a lot. It doesn’t feel so bad on your bike,” Nancy Zeliff said.

Still, her husband, John, said they planned to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Jason Pride and Linda Miller, both of Grimes, rode their bikes to the water fountains to fill up their bottles on their way into Perry.

“It’s like a mini-RAGBRAI,” Miller said of the annual Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. “You have friends, short stops and beer.”

She was quick to add bacon to the list.

“You can’t forget the bacon,” Miller said.

Each stop along the BACooN Ride featured a different bacon item. Perry’s designated stop at the Hotel Pattee served up bacon chocolate chip cookies with a strip of bacon on top. The bacon came from Berkwood Farms in Des Moines.

Riders came into town, got off their bikes, grabbed some water and sunscreen and then headed over to the bacon tent outside the hotel. Hotel Pattee employees and Perry Chamber of Commerce volunteers helped hand out the bacon cookies.

“I like it. It’s organized really good, it’s clean, the trail is well maintained. All of these towns do a very nice job,” Steve Miller, of Carlisle said of the BACooN Ride.

Nancy Zeliff echoed Miller, saying the RRVT is a great trail to ride. She’s been participating in the BACooN Ride for the last three years with her sister.

Nancy Zeliff, from Mound City, Missouri, met up with her sister, from Nebraska, and her brother, from northern Iowa, for last year’s ride. This year, the group was joined by Zeliff’s husband.

“We get together once a summer and have a great time on the bike trail. 70 miles is a good time,” Nancy Zeliff said. “It’s a family affair and just a fun time.”

She likes the fact that the ride isn’t a competitive one and riders can take their time enjoying Iowa trails like the RRVT.

And, John Zeliff said, there is the added bonus of bacon.