FAIRFIELD – The Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce will hold two biking events this summer.
It’s the first time the chamber is sponsoring bike rides. It planned to do one in 2018 called a “Bike and Brew,” where riders would stop at various cideries.
“My board got wise and said, ‘We don’t want that liability,’” said Chamber Director Darien Sloat.
The Chamber ditched that idea and instead planned a trail ride the following year, but then the city learned it would host RAGBRAI, a monumental undertaking. It proved to be too much work to plan a bike ride on top of RAGBRAI.
Sloat said the Chamber initially planned to do three biking events in 2020, but one had to be cut because of COVID-19. The two events that remain will occur within two weeks of each other. The first is a Level B Service Ride on Saturday, July 25. Cyclists can choose to ride a short, medium or long loop, either 28, 51 or 85 miles respectively. The ride will be mostly on gravel or even dirt roads, so participants are encouraged to bring a mountain bike or one with thick tires.
The other bike event will be on Saturday, Aug. 8, and will be a ride through the 16-mile Fairfield Loop Trail. Sloat hopes that, with enough volunteers, he’ll be able to post them at various stops along the route where they can educate cyclists about the local microenvironments such as lakes, prairies, forests and farmland, and about the wildlife and vegetation they can expect to see on the trail. The majority of the loop trail is crushed gravel, so here again cyclists are encouraged to bring a comfortable bike.
Both bike rides will be supported with a sag wagon and water stations along the route. The Level B ride on July 25 will be a mostly “on your own” ride with minimal signage telling cyclists where to turn. Riders are encouraged to use a global positioning service such as Ride With GPS, or they can get a printed handout the day of the event.
The Level B Service Ride will roll out between 7-9 a.m., and the ride goes unsupported at 7 p.m. For the Loop Trail Ride, check-in is from 7-8 a.m., and cyclists can start whenever they’re ready.
For more information about these rides, visit www.bikefairfield.com.