BLOOMINGTON, Illinois — Cyclists will travel through a five-county area of northwestern Illinois during the 19th Annual Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (IAITC) Bike Ride. This cross country-style ride Sept. 1-3 is an annual fund-raiser hosted by the IAA Foundation to support the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program.
This year’s IAITC Bike Ride highlights routes through Stephenson, Carroll, Jo Daviess, Ogle and Winnebago counties, with lodging and evening activities in the Freeport, Illinois, area.
“We are extremely excited that the Bike Ride is coming to our area this year,” said Bruce Johnson, manager, Stephenson County Farm Bureau. “The 2014 ride consists of routes through beautiful country hillsides and the Jane Adams Trail.”
Riders can participate for one or two days, and can choose from routes that run approximately 40 or 80 miles. Vehicle road support and safely scouted, marked routes are planned. Participation is flexible and desired average riding speed is 12-15 mph.
“Rider safety is of utmost importance,” said Charlie Grotevant, bike ride co-chairman. “We spend a great deal of time planning the best possible routes for great riding and great views of the countryside. That’s one of the reasons we’ve had such a great following for 19 years now.”
Along each bike route, cyclists stop at schools where fun, interactive student assemblies are held. Cyclists and IAITC staff and volunteers tell students the important story of agriculture. Equally important, students are reminded about bicycle safety from this group of “professionals.” Evenings are spent experiencing local sites, family farms and hearty meals.
The IAA Foundation is taking registrations to participate in this year’s event. Special incentives encourage individuals to raise funds for Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom. Raising $1,000 or more earns a free full ride, a grant and a book pack to a school or library of the rider’s choice; raising $500 earns a 50 percent discount on registration and a free book pack; and riders who raise $250 receive a 25 percent discount on registration. More details on event registration and how to raise funds to support the ride are available online at www.iaafoundation.org or by calling (309) 557-2230.
The Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program is dedicated to teaching students the role that farmers and agriculture plays in our everyday lives. Participation in events like the IAITC Bike Ride helps raise funds to continue agriculture literacy programs and provide free resources to teachers in the classroom.
Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom is the top funding priority of the IAA Foundation, Illinois Farm Bureau’s charitable foundation, which funds educational, research and charitable activities that benefit Illinois farm families and agriculture.
Posted Aug. 27, 2014