The forecast calls for plenty of snow to fly over the next few days, but thousands of Iowans will be thinking of sunny, summer days ahead as they attend one of the biggest one-day bicycling shows in the Midwest.
The Iowa Bike Expo is Saturday in Des Moines. Organizer Mark Wyatt, executive director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, says the free event is for everyone who’s into pedal power. “You’re going to see bikes, gear, destinations and events,” Wyatt says. “Really, people come there shopping for their summer. If you want to check out what the latest trail is, if you want to check out what the bike shops have as far as new gear to offer, this is the event for you.”
If you’re shopping for a new bike, whether it’s a traditional two-wheel road bike, recumbent, tandem or electric, Wyatt says there will easily be hundreds of options. “There’s a bike demo area,” Wyatt says. “We’ve got four or five vendors who will let you take a bike over and give it a short ride, right in front of the events center on the floor, so that’ll be pretty cool.”
There will be educational seminars to help riders get in touch with bike advocacy, a legal workshop, and new product launches at the event. While Iowa has hundreds of miles of paved trails, the expo features representatives from a host of “destination” bike rides in other states, including Minnesota and Kentucky.
“There’s a lot of interest in the Iowa bicycling community,” Wyatt says. “Certainly, they see it as economic development that they can import to their states. We know that we’ve got to continue to develop that economic impact on bicycling here in Iowa.”
The Iowa Bike Expo is free and runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.