Local bike enthusiasts helped determine the best loops to promote and prepared brief write-ups for the back of the map, including nuggets about interesting side trips, local attractions plus suggestions for restaurants.
"This is a ground-breaking project," said Carl Voss, Des Moines Bicycle Collective Chair, who oversaw creation and development of the map. "We're proud to make this new reference guide available to explore our trails network, low-volume county roads and Iowa hospitality."
The project was a collaborative project, led by Voss. Casey's General Stores, Hy-Vee, Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau (GDMCVB), area bike shops, bike enthusiasts and Bed and Breakfasts assisted to make this project a reality. The Marshalltown Convention and Visitors Bureau, Marion County, Pella, Red Rock and Madison County Chamber of Commerce will also assist as the map is made available to visitors and locals.
"Bicycle tourism is alive and well in Iowa! For decades, cyclists from all over the world have come to Iowa to ride RAGBRAI. But that is just one slice of the pie," said TJ Juskiewicz, RAGBRAI director and author of the A Not Long and Wine-Ding Road loop on the map. "Riders now come to experience Iowa's extensive trail system including our new gem, the High Trestle Trail. Iowa's farm-to-market road system opens up the entire state for cyclists to enjoy all 99 counties by bike!"
The maps are currently available for $2.99 at select Casey's General Stores and participating Hy-Vee stores. Visitors can request the map through the GDMCVB Visitor Packet Request online at www.catchdesmoines.com.
Steve Durrant of Portland is on the Board of Directors for the League of American Bicyclists. He believes this map will help bring new visitors to Central Iowa. "All across the country communities are continuing to discover that tourism-and especially bicycle tourism-can be an important contribution to the local economy, civic engagement and quality of life. The bike trails, routes, scenic vistas and historic destinations found on the Cycle Central Iowa Map highlight those qualities and services," said Durrant.
A website has been launched, www.CycleCentralIowa.com, with additional features to be added in the coming weeks.