Pedaling for cycling enthusiasm
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Efforts to rejuvenate the enthusiasm towards cycling will continue on Thursday when the Crawford County Cycling Coalition will host a meeting to discuss the Manilla Madness cycling event and the attraction of RAGBRAI to Denison.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Gold Room at Cronk’s Café and is open to the public. Anyone interested in cycling is encouraged to attend.
Kim Ingerslev, of the Cycling Coalition, stated that the meeting will be an informational discussion for Manilla Madness, a 26-mile, round-trip bicycle ride from Denison to Manilla and back.
The 2013 Manilla Madness ride will mark the second year the Chamber and Development Council of Crawford County (CDC) has helped the coalition promote the event.
Ingerslev explained that the Manilla ride has grown in popularity each year since its birth and expects to see more riders yet this year.
“Each year, we’ve had a couple of additional riders. Last year we had 50 or 60 riders and we are hoping to have that many, if not a little more this year,” Ingerslev said.
He explained the ride provides an enjoyable yet challenging event for bicyclists. The hilly roads between Denison and Manilla cause some strenuous pedaling but the scenery is worth the effort.
Manilla Madness continues to be an annual event for the coalition because of its reception and the support it receives from not only the riders, but the City of Manilla as well.
“People in Manilla have been hosting us for the past couple of years and they’ve done a nice job,” Ingerslev said.
The second item on the agenda is to discuss ways to continue to promote Crawford County to the RAGBRAI selection committee. In the past, Crawford County had a ban against organized cycling events but Ingerslev explained that the ban has been lifted.
Now the coalition is hard at work promoting the area as a stay over site.
“We’ve donated some items with a Denison connection to their fundraisers to be auctioned off at the RAGBRAI site announcement event and we will have representatives at the announcement party,” Ingerslev said.
He continued that based on past routes, RAGBRAI may not pass through central Iowa this year but the efforts will help push Denison’s name for future rides.
“We aren’t anticipating it coming through central Iowa and Denison this year but we are hoping to promote a stop in Denison for a different year,” Ingerslev stated.
Aside from the Manilla Madness ride, Ingerslev explained that the coalition does not host annual organized events but it exists to promote biking in Crawford County.
“We have many other events that aren’t reoccurring,” Ingerslev said. “Currently, there is an organization researching the possibility of connecting Denison to other bike trails. That possibility is many years in the future but research is being done.”
The coalition is open to all area residents with an interest in bicycling free of charge. For more information, contact the CDC at 712-263-5621, Mark Gray at 712-263-6722 or Ingerslev at 712-263-3106.