Some nights ago I was sitting across from one of my favorite people of all time. Fresh from the pool she was wearing giant Sears cover-alls, a cropped Culinary Ride shirt of yesteryear, gold hoop earrings, and one giant smirk. She is the person who introduced me to gravel and TransIowa. She taught me to love food and life. This is Audrey. She is the mastermind behind the Culinary Ride. Now in it’s fifth year the ride has been joining food, farms, and people. or as she says it best, “Where everything good comes from.”
This year her company Rad Tour Productions would be running four Culinary Rides. Iowa City, Newbo Market, Quad Cities, and now Marquette, MI. I have participated in the Iowa City ride a couple times, check out my post from last years ride! This year I would embark on the Newbo version of the ride. The route would lead up through 45 miles of scenic (surprisingly scenic) Cedar Rapids and beyond.
The food was glorious. The views were amazing. We even passed the Palisades-Dows Observatory! So much awesome.
The Culinary Ride takes everything I love about riding bikes and shares it with nearly thousands of people. I am so proud to call Audrey a friend and sister. She brings together every kind of cyclist, from the hardcore-fast racers to the casual comfort, cruising guys and gals. This event showcases what I love about my community. We all love food. We sure do love bikes. And we all get along and ride together. We are a passionate community and creating an event to showcase what we love was going to happen eventually, but it happened in the best way. No one is left out. The smiles and anticipation for the next food stop are all the motivation you need to ride the challenging Iowa country-side.
I could ramble on for days and days about how much I love this ride. But you really need to just do it. That’s part of what makes it so great. You can just show up and participate. 20 miles or 55. You get a chance to meet some of the people that are shaping Iowa City and beyond. The restaurants and farmers cater to us. I bet I never would have thought twice about where these farms are without this ride.
And if you don’t make it on the ride I bet those farmers and chefs would love to share their passion with you any time of the year.