Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 20, 2018

31st annual Bike Van Buren to be held this month

Aug 07, 2017

The Villages of Van Buren County will be hosting the 31st year of Bike Van Buren on Aug. 19 and 20. Approximately 200 bicycling enthusiasts will pedal their way through 10 historical villages during the two-day event in Southeast Iowa. Each Village will welcome the bikers with free refreshments and outstanding hospitality. All of the routes will lead you through some of the most beautiful countryside in Iowa.

NEW special activities this year include a new paddleboard clinic to be held on Friday night and a special art tribute to Wendell Mohr on Saturday. An archaeological program at Lacey-Keosauqua State Park also will be held on Saturday, as well as an Iowa pork chopd dinner, music and desserts in the Keosauqua City Park will be available from 4-7 p.m.

Register for Bike Van Buren online at or walk-up registration will be held at the Keosauqua City Park on Saturday, from 7- 8:30 a.m. Only rider registration is from 7:30-8 a.m., on Sunday.

Several route options are offered. All routes will begin and end at the Keosauqua City Park, and all are clearly marked with large colored arrows. Bickel’s Cycling & Fitness, of Burlington, will provide technical support and several sag wagons will be en route with the riders at all times. Phone numbers for staff support crews are provided on the maps riders will receive upon registration. Riders are encouraged to carry a cellphone. All support crews will be equipped with free cold bottled water, courtesy of Bonaparte Retreat & Kohl’s Food Distributing, and limited first aid.

Riders will have the option to purchase a lunch band at registration. Saturday’s lunch will be hosted by the Bridge Café in Farmington and on Sunday the Lebanon United Methodist Church will provide lunch. Registered riders will take advantage of 100 percent complimentary refreshments at each of the 13 hospitality stops throughout the weekend ride.

A Fun Poker Run, will be part of the event on both days. Riders will try to build their best hand of poker by drawing cards at designated hospitality stops. The best hand on each day, will win $100 cash. Bickel’s Cycling & Fitness in Burlington will provide prizes for second, third and fourth place winners. New fun for the riders this year is a “Cool Treasure Hunt”. A special “cool” prize will be hidden at each hospitality stop. Riders can enjoy their snacks and see if they can locate the prize.

Saturday’s ride will conclude at the Keosauqua City Park where the Keosauqua Lions will be serving BBQ thick-cut Iowa Pork Chops, baked beans, potato salad, macaroni salad & drinks from 4 to 7 p.m. The Tarnished Brass Band will perform from 5:00-6:00 p.m., and Ol’Fashion Homemade Root Beer Floats will be served from 5 to 7 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend.

Keosauqua Lions also will be serving an all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast, with scrambled eggs and fresh fruits on both mornings from 7-10 a.m., in the Keosauqua City Park which is open to the public. The Keosauqua Lions Club, First Iowa State Bank and Bickel’s Cycling & Fitness have partnered together to raffle a beautiful 1.2 Trek Road Bike. Tickets will be for sale during the Lions breakfast on Aug. 19, and again that afternoon at the Keosauqua City Park. The winner will be drawn Saturday evening at 6 p.m. You need not be present to win the bike. Proceeds will benefit various Lions Club projects.

Also new this year, there will be a stand up paddle board clinic on Friday, Aug. 18, at 5 and 6:30 p.m., at Lacey-Keosauqua State Park Beach House. The one-hour session will open with directions from a certified instructor with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources then participants will be able to put their skills to the test on the water. The first session will begin at 5 p.m., and the second session will begin at 6:30 p.m. This is an official Des Moines River Water Trails event co-sponsored by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Jefferson County Conservation. There is no cost, however, preregistration is required and participation is limited. The clinic is open to all but children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants may register by calling (641)-919-6822 or emailing

A special presentation on tools of the past will be held on Saturday at 6 p.m., at Lacey-Keosauqua State Park. For thousands of years preindustrial populations hunted and farmed in Iowa. These people had to make everything they needed from string to houses. Join Cherie E. Haury-Artz, Archaeology Technician Specialist at the Office of the State, as she describes various prehistoric technologies. She will have materials to examine so participants can experiment with how they were used. This is an official Des Moines River Water Trails event co-sponsored by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Jefferson County Conservation. There is no cost and preregistration is not required. For more information, please call (641)-919-6822 or email

CELEBRATE IOWA ARTISTS is another NEW event that will be held on Saturday, August 19, in the Bentonsport National Historic District as a celebration of the late Wendell Mohr’s life, work and history. Works of his art will be displayed throughout the specialty shops with various artists’ demonstrations. Tour Wendell’s studio, the Vernon School, from 1-4 p.m. No admission fee. Villages Folk School will host a Plein Aire Painting Class with John Preston. You can register for the class at

For more information contact: Villages of Van Buren 800-868-7822 / 319-293-7111

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