24th annual Tour de Nebraska Bicycle Tour heads to southeast Nebraska
LINCOLN, Neb. – The 24th annual 5-day Tour de Nebraska bicycle ride will head to southeast Nebraska on its 310-mile round trip journey, June 22-26, 2011. Approximately 250 cyclists will leave Syracuse on Wednesday, June 22 and camp overnight in Brownville, Pawnee City, Fairbury and Wilber.
“This is one of our favorite areas of the state. It offers great scenery, friendly people and history which in combination make an excellent experience for our cyclists,” according to Susan Larson Rodenburg, who organizes the tour with her husband, Rich.
The noncompetitive circle tour will start and end this year in Syracuse, 30 miles east of Lincoln. It will then proceed to overnight host communities of Brownville (Wednesday, 6/22), Pawnee City (Thursday, 6/23), Fairbury (Friday, 6/24) and Wilber (Saturday, 6/25), and return to Syracuse on Sunday, June 26. Tour de Nebraska bicycle adventure is a mental and physical challenge for cyclists of all ages. Participants come from across Nebraska and other states, including California, Minnesota, Idaho, New Mexico, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, Virginia, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Colorado, Iowa and Arizona. It’s grown from 11 cyclists to 225 over the years.
“Our cyclists tell us they like the size of Tour de Nebraska because it’s big enough to meet some new people, but small enough not to overwhelm the communities we visit,” Susan Rodenburg said. “We have families, school teachers, busy executives and others who all share a passion for cycling and want to get off the beaten path. They can ride all day at their own speed so they can take full advantage of sightseeing and food in the small communities along the way. By the time the tour ends, they are all bonded in one way or another.”
Tour de Nebraska arranges meals, rest stops, daily maps, itineraries, luggage/gear transfers, emergency sag support on the highway, daily fruit and water. Riders camp at city parks or sleep inside at high school gymnasiums. The Rodenburgs help local communities along the route prepare for rest stops and overnight stays.
“We encourage the communities to show what they have to offer and to highlight their community spirit, history and friendliness – all unique to Nebraska,” she says. “We work closely with the local organizers to assist them in providing everything we need. Most find that hosting the riders is not only fun but a great way to bring new revenue to the area. It’s always exciting to find out what they have planned for us.”
The favorite rest stop and overnight host towns chosen by the riders receive cash awards. “It’s a small token of thanks for their efforts,” Rodenburg said.
Organizers also present daily spirit awards (The Sophie Trophy) to build camaraderie among riders. The coveted Tour de Nebraska Team Spirit Award is given annually during the last evening on of the tour to a deserving individual who has shown a great amount of spirit, humor and joy while facing the challenges of the tour.
Tour de Nebraska is 5 days instead of 7 like many other tours, making it perfect for first-time tourists or those with limited vacation schedules. There are many repeat riders. “It’s like a family reunion on wheels,” Rodenburg says.
The $250 registration fee includes: TDN t-shirt, daily maps and itineraries, TDN handbook, meal and camping arrangements, fruit, kick-off breakfast, sag service, luggage transport and Saturday night’s Tour de Nebraska Awards dinner. Registration information is available at: http://www.TourdeNebraska.com or by request to: Susan@TourdeNebraska.com or by phone (402) 421-1401.
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