BACoon Ride celebrates third year
Some treat the BACoon Ride as a chance to prepare for RAGBRAI later in the summer but everyone treats it as a chance to enjoy bacon and beverages all day long. The BACoon Ride, in its third year, gives bicycle riders a chance to enjoy the 72-mile Raccoon River Valley Trail and eat bacon along the way, beginning and ending in Waukee.
The ride began in Centennial Park in Waukee on Saturday, June 18 and traveled west through cities like Redfield and Panora, north to Herndon, east to Perry and back southeast to Waukee by the end of the day where there was an after party with beverages, live music and more bacon waiting for them at Mickey’s Irish Pub.
The pre party, dubbed “BACoon Sizzles,” was in Centennial Park in Waukee the night before and hosted people from all over the State of Iowa and from the region including from Nebraska and Illinois. Waukee recreation supervisor Danae Edwards said that she hopes the event will help promote Waukee as a biking community.
“We do pride ourselves in the town with having safe trails throughout our parks and then also combining into the Clive Greenbelt, Raccoon River Valley Trail and that is one of our major priorities as a park and rec department is to have safe trails that people can do,” said Edwards. “And I think this just further expands on we are welcoming the bikers to the community.”
BACoon Sizzles had a beer garden, food vendors, retailers selling cycling gear like jerseys and t-shirts and live music to enjoy while people picked up their packets and camped out in the park.
Matt Smith and Curtis Stender from Council Bluffs rode in the BACoon Ride for the first time not just for the beer and bacon, but also to help them prepare for their first RAGBRAI.
“We heard from some friends that this was a good prep ride to kind of get ready for it (RAGBRAI), kind of figure out what you’re doing for camping and drinking,” said Smith.
Stender said that they were using the BACoon Ride to help plan for what they will pack and what they will need for when they ride RAGBRAI.
“We figure we’ll try to do everything like we’re going to do for RAGBRAI packing-wise and then see when RAGBRAI comes so we know what we missed and what we could do better,” said Stender.
Along with the BACoon Sizzles staff from the Waukee Parks and Recreation Department and the general public, the Waukee Police Department was also out enjoying the sunny weather in the park while also patrolling the area, including Chief of Police John Quinn.
Quinn said that patrolling the event allows the Waukee Police Department to network with a lot of different people.
“A lot of people are from out of town so they come in and ask directions to the various restaurants and other types of facilities and we’re just here to make sure everybody has a fun time and nobody gets out of control,” said Quinn.
Quinn went on to say that those who take part in the event are very responsible and “police themselves” during the event.
“They’re not here for any type of activity that could be questionable,” said Quinn. “They take good care of themselves and also the community, they’re very respectful and they’re just to have a good time.”
Quinn said that while they have had some health-related emergencies due to weather in the past, they have not had any legal issues related to the event. He said that once again, there were no arrests related to the event this year as well.