This was my first year attending the Iowa Bike Expo, and boy was it a great experience! The event was held at the Iowa Convention Center, downtown Des Moines. My plan was to check out the bike show and then attend a seminar I registered for.
The expo was free and had several aisles of exhibitor booths to check out. I saw beautiful bike art for sale. Upcycled jewelry made from bike chains was also for purchase. Several bike shops from the Des Moines area were showcasing their bike inventory. RAGBRAI had a booth of course, selling their 2014 jerseys. There was so much to see!
I picked up a wide variety of goodies ranging from pamphlets about trails and rides, to free samples of cycling products. Trail maps, and fun chotchkies like pins, koozies, and even a t-shirt all made their way into my swag bag. I wasn’t expecting to get so much cool stuff!
Not only did I get some free goodies, I got some free advice. Bike World gave me suggestions on what type of bike would be best for my son to ride on the trails. Bikes to You, who specializes in gravel riding, explained how to ride safe on gravel roads and what to do if a farm dog attempts to chase you on your bike.
Several Iowa bike trails were represented such as the Cedar Valley Trails, Raccoon River Valley, and High Trestle. I learned about a ride called Biking Bondu. It’s a 44 mile ride beginning in Bondurant and incorporates a portion of the Chichaqua Valley Trail. Sounds like a fun ride. I’ll be sure to mark my calendar. Free bacon was being handed out at the booth supporting the new BACooN Ride. I'll be going on this ride for sure!
After touring the exhibit hall I went upstairs to attend the seminar, Iowa Women Bicycling. Attendees were asked to share their perspectives on bicycling and concerns they have. It was so cool to see women excited about cycling and hear stories about how bike riding has changed lives. Safety was the top concern for the group. Many stick to the trails instead of the streets.
Attending the expo was a great start to my weekend. It was so much fun checking out what’s new in bicycling, being surrounded by like-minded people, and meeting other cyclists. Going to the expo is definitely a new yearly tradition for me.