And the 2013 across-state bicycle tour route is …

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In updating the 2013 list of more than 100 across-state and multi-day mass bicycle tours in the US, I noticed that more  tour organizers are trying to create suspense about next year’s route by making grand announcements.

2013 RAGBRAI logo

RAGBRAI (the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) was one of the first to raise interest in the upcoming tour route several years ago by holding a gala event.

They’re continuing that legacy now with other important online announcements, such as the the official 2013 RAGBRAI XL logo — a pig!

Some rides don’t change the route year-in and year-out. The AIDS Lifecycle ride is an example as there’s only one good way to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles along the coast by bicycle.

But others make it a point to change routes every year, enticing week-long road warriors back with new host cities and different routes.

Some tour organizers just post the new route without any fanfare. Others, such as Biking Across Kansas and Great Ohio Bike Adventure (GOBA),  merely tell interested cyclists to check back to the website on a certain date for the announcement.


Still others make a party out of it. Since RAGBRAI is a rolling party across Iowa, it’s not surprising that they were the first.

RAGBRAI’s route announcement party is Jan. 26, 2013. If you can’t make it in person, it also is streamed live on the web. (If you have a couple of hours to kill, you can watch last year’s event.) Bicycling enthusiasts aren’t the only ones interested in the route, the small town host cities get a huge economic boost when the more than 10,000 cyclists come to town.

The event features music from RAGBRAI’s favorite party band, Johnny Holm Band. There are also silent auctions, raffles, door prizes, Iowa Bicycle Coalition updates, and commemorative beer glasses. Last year the event rose $77,000 for the Iowa Bicycle Coalition.

For the first time, Bike Virginia will make a live announcement in a webinar format at 7 p.m. (ET) on Nov. 15. Members of the tour staff will announce the tour location and preview the 2013 event. Regional representatives will give a brief preview of each community. The session will include short videos, photographs of the tour location, live presentations, and a live drawing at the end.

Cycle Oregon has had parties to announce the route and host cities for several years. The Cycle Oregon Kickoff Party for 2013 is Feb. 5 at Nike’s Tiger Woods Center. Check the website closer to the date for details.

The Denver Post Ride the Rockies is planning an announcement party for Feb. 2, 2013. Details will be available at the bike tour website.

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