Rippey will be welcoming riders on the 43rd annual Bike Ride to Rippey (BRR) event Saturday, Feb. 1. Always weather dependent, the annual ride attracts as many as 2,000 riders dressed in winter biking garb or outlandish, crazy costumes.
Rippey will roll out the Welcome Mat for these hardy souls by offering beverages, including adult beverages, roast beef sundaes, a baked potato bar and tempting sweets to replenish the calories burned on that northwest 12-mile trip. Non-biker gawkers are also welcome to partake of the food and observe the frivolity.
Begun in 1976 with only a handful of riders, the first BRR was initiated and guided by Jim Walstrom of Perry. Billed as the first bike ride of the season — and designed to break his “cabin fever” — it has morphed into a major fundraising event for the Perry Chamber of Commerce and several organizations in Rippey.
The Thirsty Pig, under contract with the Friends of Rippey, will be selling beer, shots and soft drinks on the Main Street of the town. Profits will be shared and added to the Rippey Sesquicentennial fund.
The Rippey United Methodist Church will provide their traditional baked potato bar, with a plethora of toppings, including broccoli, cheese, butter, sour cream and chili. Chili and broccoli cheese soup will also be available. Pies and bars will be served along with hot chocolate, coffee and water to provide energy and as warm up for the return trip to Perry.
The Rippey Lion’s Club will serve their usual roast beef sundaes at the Rippey Community Center. For those who question this Rippey delight, it is robust, beginning with mashed potatoes, a tender slice of roast beef that is then smothered with roast beef gravy, all served in a bowl topped with a cherry tomato. This is a must for first-time riders. They will also have chili and bars, along with water, coffee and hot chocolate.
BRR is a big fundraiser for the Lion’s Club, and they use the dollars to provide Christmas gifts, contribute to Camp Hertko and aide with numerous other Rippey community activities.
Look for the photo opportunity sponsored by the Friends of Rippey as a fundraiser for the Sesquicentennial, with the theme, “I froze my _ss on the BRR ride”. This is certain to be popular for Facebook posts, and the donation will help offset the cost for the community celebration, including the 14 portable toilets, courtesy of the city of Rippey, to be positioned around the town for the guests.
Rippey citizens will also be reminding all visitors about the upcoming Aug. 1, 2020, sesquicentennial celebration and will urge them to return for the parade, ball game, children’s games, car show, band concert and fireworks.
Mary Weaver is a member of the Friends of Rippey.