Trailnet’s Ride the Rivers Century – September 21, 2014
Trailnet’s 10th Ride the Rivers Century was another outstanding success. More than 480 participants admired the scenic confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers at the new event location in beautiful Pere Marquette State Park. We had 46 amazing volunteers help assemble ride packets, set up registration, welcome riders at rest stops all along the route, and assist with teardown.
Set-up began before sunrise at the Marina Pavilion where riders picked up their packets and sipped hot chocolate and coffee supplied by Mississippi Mud Coffee Roasters. Morning temperatures were in the upper 50s but the sky was clear and the sun was bright.
With the new location, riders boarded the Brussels Ferry in the first mile and traversed the challenging hills of Calhoun County. The new location also offered a metric century option that crossed the eastern section of St. Charles County and rejoined the full “traditional” century after crossing the Clark Bridge into Alton, Illinois.
At the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, riders enjoyed buffet-style lunch and entertainment provided by Big Chief and the Smoke Signals. Riders faced their biggest challenge of the day along the Mississippi River Road – a 20mph headwind. This obstacle entitled riders to bragging rights at the finish and a much-deserved celebration.
At the after-party, hungry riders were in for a treat. Riders enjoyed a fresh fish dinner courtesy of master fish fryer Joe Beck. Beer was provided by Morgan Street Brewery and Noe & Diekemper entertained with live music. Dropping their wristband tabs in bins at each of the four rest stops, riders listened as winners were announced for prizes (two $100 gift certificates and two $125 entries to the Southern Illinois Fat Tire Festival) from our shop sponsor Bike Surgeon. As dusk approached, the day wrapped up welcoming the final riders to the party.
2014 Ride the Rivers Century was funded, in part, by The Great Rivers Greenway District and Missouri American Water and in partnership with Chipotle Mexican Grill, Morgan Street Brewery, and Hammer Nutrition.
Special thanks to photographer, Mark Schwigen.