The 39th annual BRR Bike Ride to Rippey drew about 1,500 entrants Saturday morning thanks to sunny skies and moderate February temperatures.
About 550 riders registered prior to the event, according to Bob Wilson, executive director of the Perry-Area Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the annual endurance test. There were even some post-registrants, Wilson said, riders who first completed the 30-mile round trip and then paid the registration fee and collected their swag.
Well known features of the annual event met riders. The Perry Lions Club served scrambled eggs and cinnamon rolls in the Spring Valley Ballroom of the Hotel Pattee starting at 7 a.m., with the bulk of the diners arriving between 9 a.m. and the 10 a.m. start of the ride.
The St. Patrick’s Knights of Columbus sold raffle tickets on a bicycle, with Tiffany McCauley, daughter-in-law of Dr. Jim and Robin McCauley of Perry the lucky winner.
Educators from Dallas County’s Nu Alpha Gamma Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma checked in pre-registered riders and helped to orient them to the surroundings.
Representatives of the Raccoon River Valley Trail Association and the Des Moines Bicycle Collective were on hand to inform visitors about the opportunities for local bicycling. Members of the Raccoon River Watershed Association and the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation explained the environmental context of the trail and the need to advocate for a clean environment.
It was 31 degrees at the start of the ride. Perry Volunteer Fire Department Chief Chris Hinds led riders north on Second Street from Willis Avenue to Park Street, the one block west to First Avenue and further north along Iowa Highway 144.
Officers of the Perry Police Department controlled traffic along the route, and the Perry Public Works Department erected barricades downtown for the same purpose. Celebrations will continue Saturday afternoon and night, with riders congratulating one another