This past weekend there was a group of around 300 bicycle riders riding through the area.
These bikers were part of the Bicycling Around Minnesota (BAM) tour. This event has been going on since 2006. It is a four day bicycle ride that covers 60 to 80 miles per day. Each year the riders take low traffic roads to take in the beauty of Minnesota.
In the inaugural BAM tour in 2006 had just 30 participants. They rode from Park Rapids to Walker and Longville before returning to Park Rapids. The event steadily grew to 90 riders in 2007, to 120 in 2008, all the way to around 300 this year.
Each year the route changes to a different region of Minnesota, and this year the region is Southern Minnesota. This tour or Southern Minnesota is go at your own pace. The group did not travel as one large group but made stops at the designated rest areas whenever they pleased.
There were no age restrictions for the race there were riders in their 20’s to riders that were well into their 70’s.
The event started on Thursday, the 18th, where the bikers went from the starting point, Waseca, to New Ulm where the riders had the opportunity to tour the Schell’s Brewery, or visit Herman the German.
The next leg of the bicycling tour was from New Ulm to Springfield. The group was in Godahl on Friday afternoon before traveling on to Springfield for the night where the riders could go to the waterpark, or enjoy the entertainment at the campground.
Saturday morning they made their way from Springfield to the Butterfield Threshing Bee for some food at the Watonwan County Historical Society stand.
Even though the Watonwan County Historical Society was aware of the bikers coming, they were unaware how much food they were going to get. Later on in the day on Saturday they ran out of food party due to the amount of bikers that stopped by to eat.
After the Threshing Bee stop the group headed to Memorial Park in St. James for a pit stop. At the park the riders had the opportunity to use the bathrooms and also buy water or treats from Encore Coffee Cafe.
A group of riders were talking about the distance they had travelled. “We left Springfield this morning, it feels like we left from Springfield Illinois” said one rider.
After their time in Memorial Park they set out for the final 14 miles to Madelia for the night where there was more entertainment at the campground.
The last leg of the tour loups back to the beginning, from Madelia to Waseca. The riders travelled along the Minnesota river and around the lakes of the area before arriving back in Waseca to mark the end of the tour.