Mother Lovers Ride takes bicyclists on a gastronomical tour of Cedar Rapids May 14

Mother Lovers Ride from RadTours

Cedar Rapids, and beyond! — Sunday, May 14 at 10 a.m.

The sights you can see! A denizen of Geyer’s Pizza Farm charms riders on last years RadTour IC. — photo by Steve Goetzelman

On Sunday, May 14, RadTour LLC will host the Cedar Rapids RadTour Bike Ride (formerly known as Culinary Ride), a 52-mile bicycle tour and celebration of farms, food and fermentation. This year, as the spring ride falls on Mother’s Day, ride organizers Audrey Wiedemeier and Kris Estergaard are pitching the ride as the “Mother Lovers Ride,” highlighting fermented foods such as kombucha and sourdough that are created using a mother culture.

Mothers and other family members are encouraged to join in the ride, which will cover mixed terrain, including country roads, paved off-road trails and about 14 miles of gravel around the Cedar Rapids area. Tickets are $40-55. Check in begins at 9 a.m.; riders will roll out at about 10 a.m.

If the thought of a long, relaxed ride through some of Iowa’s prettiest countryside appeals to you, this ride is for you. If the thought of stopping every 10 to 15 miles to eat and drink appeals, this ride is really for you. If the thought of eating farm-raised, carefully prepared foods while walking around and stretching your legs on the very property where the food was raised appeals to you: Trust me; you want to do this ride.

An anecdote to illustrate my point: Last fall, on the Iowa City ride, chefs from Devotay fed sweaty, sun-soaked riders who were reclined among wildflowers and kittens at Geyer’s Pizza Farm. We ate savory baked apples with maple, squash, kale and local tofu, washed down with Wild Culture kombucha, while one of the kittens — the lucky tiger! — waltzed through the garden with a large, raw ribeye in his jaw. He shared with his kitty buddies while riders blinked in delight. These sorts of wonders aren’t uncommon on Culinary Rides.

Traditionally, RadTour hosts the Cedar Rapids ride in spring and the Iowa City ride in fall. This allows riders to experience the ebb and flow of harvest season in Iowa, while also learning about hidden gems and rad routes throughout the area; this year’s Cedar Rapids ride will make heavy use of both the Cedar Valley trails and the Sac and Fox trails, two beautiful and popular off-road trails that meander around the Cedar River.

This year, the ride commences at Goldfinch Cyclery, 208 C 12th Ave SE. Cyclists will nosh on breakfast and coffee from local favorites Brewhemia, while getting last-minute air in tires & grease on chains. As in past years, while ride organizers screenprint a cool design, incorporating the ride’s themes, on cotton garments provided by riders, the riders will mill and meet and mingle while checking in and fueling up to ride.

The first stop on the tour is Dan & Debbie’s Creamery in Ely, which features milk, cheese and ice cream made from Dan & Debbie Takes’ own herd of 150 Holsteins, free of growth hormones and GMOs. The route will then take riders to Pavelka’s Point Farm, where farm owners Lois and Bill Pavelka are set to host Chef Andrew Hoffman from Quarter Barrel Arcade and Brewery. Hoffman will feed the masses while we relax and mill about Pavelka’s Point.

The route will then take riders through Mt. Vernon, where Lincoln Winebar will be open for refreshing beverages and respite — bring cash and have a glass of rosé — before riders head to Abbe Hills farm, where Aaron Hall of Local Crumb Bakery will incorporate ferments from Hue Hill Farms to feed the crowd. The ride winds up at Caucho, back in Cedar Rapids, for an after-party hosted by ride regulars and Caucho staffers Emily Qual and Chef Joshua Tibbetts.

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