By Chelsea Meyer
Rock River Current
ROCKFORD — It’s back! Rockford’s original neighborhood bike fest is happening this Saturday.
Ride around and Tour De North End while you collect passport stamps and win prizes.
For the past decade, Tour De North End has raised awareness about bicycle safety and the importance of knowing the rules of the road. It encourages cyclists and motorists to share the road per state law.
This event features more than a dozen businesses in the city’s North End neighborhood while showing off the fact that it’s a great place to live, with a diverse business district.
The official passport stops this year are:
- The Olympic Tavern
- Mulligan’s Pub & Grill
- The Norwegian
- Rathskeller Rockford
- The North Main Bar
- Rockford Billiard Cafe
- Mrs. Fisher’s Potato Chips
- Village Green Home and Garden
- Whiskeys Roadhouse
- Rockford Skate Co.
- Deli Italia and Pizzeria/Catering on North Main Street
- Bicycle Connection
- Rockford Family Dental
- Stockyard Rock Burger Bar
- Kegel’s Bicycle Store
Registration and check-in will take place at The Olympic Tavern from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. House Brotherhood DJs will be there spinning live vinyl.
At 1 p.m. attendees can head out to 15-plus other North End locations to collect passport stamps. The more stamps collected, the more chances to win prizes at the end of the fest.
Riders can return to The Olympic Tavern to redeem passports for entry tickets from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. No passports will be redeemed after 6:01 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., tickets will be drawn for one lucky rider to take home a New Belgium Fat Tire Bicycle.
Head out for a day of drinks, mini-games and your chance to win gift baskets and prizes, as well as prizes for craziest bike, best group costume and more, courtesy of North End neighborhood businesses and New Belgium Brewery.
Pre-register online or riders can buy a ticket at the check-in tent on the day of the event from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Two dollars from every rider’s entry fee will go directly to a Rockford cycling charity — this year’s recipient is Rockford United Way’s Rollin’ Strong program, which teaches at-risk youths to repair and build bikes.
This event happens rain or shine. Participants should dress for the weather and bring a bike lock, water bottle and helmet. There will be other cycling events throughout the day (bike safety and “how to/fix-it” demos from Kegel’s Bicycle Store, slow ride competition, trackstand competition, etc).
Families with kids are encouraged to join the festival but per state law children under 21 may not win prizes. The day’s schedule of events and more info are available HERE and the Tour De North End Facebook page.
This article is by Chelsea Meyer. Email her at email@example.com.