If RAGBRAI is the established mid-summer bicycle event of Iowa–the mature elder–the Culinary Ride is the baby brother trailing along at summer’s end. The Culinary Ride pairs long-distance cycling with locavore ethics for a pleasant way to enjoy a Sunday. For those who register, Sunday, Sept. 16 will not be a day of rest. Instead, it will be a day of leisurely exercise rewarded with flavors harvested from the Iowa soil.
Beginning at the Waterworks Prairie Park (2875 N. Dubuque St., Iowa City), the Culinary Ride makes use of the Iowa Corridor Trail Network and offers two routes: the 25-mile Cherry Tomato Route and the 55-mile Beet-It-Up route. The Cherry Tomato Route visits Green Castle Organics and the North Ridge Berry Farm, and the Beet-It-Up Route extends the ride to New Orleans-themed Augusta Restaurant in Oxford, the Millstream Brewery, Clandestine Campsite and Reds Alehouse in North Liberty.
This is the second year the Culinary Ride has sought to promote the best of Iowa trails and Iowa food. Cost is $45 and proceeds go to the Iowa City Community School District’s Farm to School chapter and the Youth Off-Road Riders Cycling Club. So if the thought of local food and beer, or the leisurely cycling along lush landscape views, doesn’t tempt you, consider doing it for the children.
To view the full route and register, visit culinaryride.com.