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Plans continue to evolve for 2021 Bike Ride to Rippey

Allison Ullmann
Perry Chief
Riders take off for Rippey during the 43rd-annual BRR event. Plans are still being finalized, but the Feb. 6, 2021 ride will look different as there will not be an official mass start because of COVID-19.

Plans for the 2021 Bike Ride to Rippey are still underway, though the event will look different.

“There will be some kind of BRR in some form or fashion this year,” said Lynsi Pasutti, executive director of the Perry Chamber of Commerce, of the 44th annual ride, set for Feb. 6, 2021.

She added that the planning process for the annual ride always starts months in advance though this year presented some unique challenges because of so many unknowns with COVID-19. Plans have evolved as Pasutti said they know how fast things can change from the Department of Public Health as well as recommendations and restrictions from Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Pasutti added that the constant changes make it difficult to have a set plan in place for the BRR ride. Instead, she said they have a few plans in place so they can adapt as needed as the event draws closer.

“Plan A being it’s altered in some capacity because it has to be, B as a back-up whether we go virtual or do something where it’s more ride where you are and C would be canceled. But we know it’s a tradition for so many people whether they register or not, we have to still anticipate people being here that weekend,” Pasutti said.

Registration is currently open. Pasutti said the biggest change for the 2021 event will be mailing out all pre-registrations. Normally, registration packets with T-shirts and more items are picked up on the day of the ride at the Hotel Pattee. Mailing the packets helps eliminate so many gathering in one place and allows registrants to receive their packets wherever they are.

Mailing out the packets has changed a few of the deadlines. The prices have also increased slightly to accommodate the shipping and handling costs. Early bird pricing is $35 through Dec. 31. Pre-registration will be open from Jan. 1-15 for $40. There will be no week of registration since packets will be mailed.

Pasutti said plans for day-of registration are still up in the air and won’t be finalized until the event is closer. Plans for other events before, during and after the BRR ride in Perry Rippey are also fluid.

For now, the T-shirts have been printed and the first packets for those pre-registered will start going out before Christmas.

The T-shirt design for the 2021 Bike Ride to Rippey.

Registration has been a bit slower than normal, Pasutti said, as some are waiting to see what happens. Though others are looking forward to some sort of BRR ride.

“We’ve had the event registration open for months now and it’s amazing to see how much response is out there for people following the event and interacting with the BRR page so we know it’s something a lot of people look forward to,” Pasutti said. 

While she added the ride is “a way to get out and about,” they also need to be mindful of people gathering before, during and after the event. One way they are planning to address that is to not have an official mass start. Instead, BRR riders can come into Perry and leave for Rippey throughout the day.

“All along we knew people will make their own decision whether to come or not to come but we hope that people will still consider supporting the ride because it’s the chamber’s biggest fundraiser of the year. It really sets the tone for what the rest of our activities look like,” Pasutti said.

Membership is a big part of the chamber’s operations, but Pasutti said fundraisers like the BRR ride allow the chamber to plan various activities in town.

She added that they appreciate the support from riders who come from all over for the BRR ride, including out of state. That will look different this year, but Pasutti said some will still register. A big perk this year is that the packets will be mailed to registrants ahead of the ride.

“We have the registration for full merchandise but we also have the $15 Support The Ride, which is nice to help carry on the tradition and it supports the chamber,” Pasutti said.

Other options include Let’s Connect donations to help with the trail connector project and general donations.

“This is an annual tradition for more than 40 years and if you want to see it continue this is how it happens, through registration,” Pasutti said. “If you like all of the activities that the chamber hosts throughout the year, this is another way to support that and have it continue to happen.”

Plans will continue to evolve for what the ride ultimately looks like in February, whether it’s an in-person ride or a virtual one where people post photos of where they are riding. 

“How can we keep folks safe and provide an outlet for them to be outdoors and have fun but still keep our community safe, our volunteers safe and our riders safe as much as possible too,” Pasutti said of the planning process.

More details will be shared as the Feb. 6 event gets closer. Find more information on the City of Perry website or the BRR Facebook page.

Riders chat before the start of the 43-annual Bike Ride to Rippey. Plans are still being finalized for the Feb. 6, 2021 ride, though the event will look different because of COVID-19.