Cyclists gearing up for third annual Culinary Ride

Culinary Ride
A full schedule of the day’s events is available here. — photo via Culinary Ride

Bicyclists and locavores in the Iowa City area are gearing up for the third annual Culinary Ride, which begins this Sunday at 8 a.m.

Participants in the Culinary Ride will choose whether they want to ride the shorter, 10-25 mile “Cherry Tomato” route, or the more challenging, 60+ mile “Beat-it-Up” route. Both routes take riders south of Iowa City to the Muddy Miss, and Dirty Face Creek organic farms. The “Beat-it-Up” route will then continue on, stopping first at the Kalona Brewery and then at other sustainability-oriented locations like Galen Bontrager’s “beyond organic” Farm, and the Yoderville Biodiesel Collective.

As part of this year’s Field to Family Festival, organizers of the Culinary Ride seek to bring participants closer to the rich countryside that surrounds Iowa City. Noting a growing disconnect between communities and the food that comes from the land surrounding them, event organizers like Emily Qual see the ride as a way to emphasize the importance of local agriculture.

“Our committee aims to strengthen networking within the local agrarian community, celebrate the talent of area chefs and intimately enjoy Iowa’s countryside,” Qual said. “Riders are directly benefiting ICCSD Farm to Family as well as the Youth Off-Road Riders, associated with the Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County.”

Trumpet Blossom will provide food to participants at an after-the-ride gathering from 6-9 p.m.

Pre-registration for the Culinary Ride is closed, but a limited number of tickets will be available on the day of the event, and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Organizers are also looking for volunteers. More information can be found here.

PBS covers the 2012 Culinary Ride: