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  • Posted Dec 20

2020 - WOWSERS - the year of the corona-virus pandemic, no RAGBRAI and lots more!

NINETEEN years! Can you believe BIKEIOWA has been around for 19 years as an informational website dedicated to making cycling better in Iowa?!?

As we mentioned in last year's review, if we look back at almost two decades, the internet was just a baby and your best place to find out about rides was Club newsletters and bulletin boards at your local bike shop. There were no cell phones, no Google, no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. BIKEIOWA (fka CIBROC) was initially created to house a small list of events and grew to become one of the most comprehensive cycling websites for Iowa bike rides, news and events in the Midwest and beyond.

We thought the Iowa cycling scene and trails were pretty darn good back in the early 2000s, but little did we know that 19 years later, the Iowa cycling scene and world-class trails system would become the envy of every other state!

2020 - WOWSERS

2020 was a roller coaster and has shaped-down to be a year no one could ever believe. It's like you took the worst part of every year for 10 years and added them all into one year and then tossed in a couple extra scoops of WTFs.

Global pandemic, social distancing, business closures, crazy general election year, race and political riots, record stock market crash and bounce-back, historic jobs losses, working from home, cash stimulus package, civil war-like tensions, US and Australian wildfires, hurricanes, toilet paper shortage, Twitter wars, record vaccination approval process just to name a few. The Zs - Zoom and Zwift became household names.

And then for more local Iowa 2020 wowsers - a Derecho! No Iowa State Fair. No RAGBRAI. No Jinglecross and pretty much every other organized cycling event was cancelled between mid-March and December.

Even with the pandemic and social distancing we tried to make lemonade from the soft-ball sized lemons that were chucked at us this year. The new Friday Fives was a 19 video series we did during Summer to showcase fives things every Friday.

Iowa State Parks Centennial - our outlet

The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the Iowa state parks system.

You'll see below that we found state park excursions to be a great outlet and source of entertainment and exercise during the pandemic.

After 10 months of a global pandemic, we learned to embrace the social distancing with hiking, biking and van camping staycations in Iowa state and county parks. We ventured out during the off-season and rarely saw anyone. One of the best parts was we had most campgrounds to ourselves for only $6 per night for a non-electric site. We cooked out of the van and could remain off-grid for days thus limiting our exposure which worked out really well for social distancing.

We hope you found we able to find a safe and healthy outlet.

By the numbers

Keeping BIKEIOWA updated and ensuring timely social media posts is certainly a time commitment, but we always try to keep it fresh, frequent, and up to date.

The crazy year of 2020 did not stop the numbers, but they are not as high as they have been in the past with all the cancellations and restrictions. These numbers reflect new posts and data changes as of December 21st, 2020.

  • 14,029 - Facebook followers
  • 3,668 - Instagram followers
  • 7,233 - Twitter followers
  • $4,462 - in Merchandise given to local events and organizations to be used for fund raising, prizes, swag and awareness. We are able to make this happen with our great sponsors!
  • $1,550 - Dollars donated to directly cycling causes. Again, thanks to our great sponsors!
  • 453 - News posted with 202,547 views
  • 282 - Events posted to the event calendar with 201,046 views
  • 36 - Trails updated with new information with 565,974 lifetime views
  • 26 - Reviews posted with 20,075 views
  • 24 - Features posted with 28,821 views
  • 19 - Friday Fives episodes with 8,387 views
  • 6 - New trails added with 1,110 views (300 trails in total with 3,051 total trail miles and 3,202,876 million lifetime views)
  • 5 - New cities added with 1,751 views (1014 cities in total with 8,165,154 million lifetime views)
  • 4 - Site enhancements - behind the scenes style changes for mobile devices

We (still) believe

BIKEIOWA.com is still a unicorn in the cycling world as there are very few if any sites that list events, News and Features and many more items for 20 multi-genre cycling portals, as well as providing a portal for every trail and every city in Iowa while promoting advocacy, safety and our bicycle-friendly sponsors.

Some portals are more vibrant than others based of the information added to the site. For example, we'd love for the BMXers to post more events and help grow awareness of their sport. Same for the triathlete/multi-sport crowd. Some portals such as Gravel are fairly new and the number of tags haven't caught up with the older portals. See below for the portals. Each portal is like a mini-site that shows you all the information for the portal you wish to view without sifting through all the other types of posts.

Advocacy(2,331) BMX(68) Charity(1,643) Commuting(1,005) Culture(3,618) Cyclocross(861) Destination(2,096) Education(886) Gravel(260) MountainBike(1,773) Other(1,531) Party(3,835) Race(2,052) Recreation(5,505) Road(2,343) Road(Competitive)(1,325) Team/Club(1,895) Touring(1,112) Tourism(1,453) Trails(5,361) Training/Fitness(1,723) Tri/Multi-Sport(454)

A shared event calendar like BIKEIOWA's calendar shows which days are taken by events and which ones are open. You'd be amazed how many cyclists plan their weekends and vacations around the BIKEIOWA calendar. We still strive for 800-1,100 listed events a year.

We decided a few years ago that BIKEIOWA will only promote events that are listed on our event calendar. We know the event layout information is consistent with what our viewers want to see.

Some events are only being posted to Facebook these days, and that's OK, but... we are not going to scour Facebook looking for missing events as our time is better spent doing other things. Also note, that we no longer post other's events. The event calendar is service for YOU as a user and as an event promoter. YOU can enter your event and then we will help promote it. It's as simple as that.

Social media platforms are some hard competition with websites these days, but we believe that BIKEIOWA's event calendar, news, features and reviews are worth-while causes to keep updated. We realize not everyone is on social media and if they are, they are most likely inundated with data and only see half of the pertinent posts anyways. BIKEIOWA not only shows consistent data for upcoming events, but also past events are easily found too. BIKEIOWA averages over a million views annually.

We are looking forward to our 20th year in 2021.

Monthly highlights

Without all the structured events were able to explore the parks and take off-the-beat roads to explore Iowa's hidden gems. We are pretty impressed with the monthly activities we were able to achieve while holding ourselves to a high level of social distancing.

These are the events we attended or were scheduled to attend. This does not include the countless solo rides we rode. We BIKEIOWA. Do YOU?

JAN
  • Triple D Winter Race 2020 (Coldest ride ever!)
  • Co-hosted Firetrucker Adventure Biking Talk (FAB) - with Dieter Drake
  • Iowa Bike Expo
  • RAGBRAI Route Announcement Party
  • Des Moines Trail and Greenways Committee Meeting
  • FireTrucker Adventure Biking Talk - speaker Paul Black
  • 19 News Posts with 22,375 views
  • Whistlin' Donkey renewed sponsorship
  • Trailside Tap came on as sponsor

FEB
MAR
  • John Karras' 90th Birthday Celebration
  • IBRA Officials and Race Director's meeting
  • Music For Free With Salsa Sponsored Rider Ben Weaver at Captain Roy's
  • Co-hosted Firetrucker Adventure Biking Talk (FAB) - Bicycle Dreams
  • Iowa Spring Classic - Cumming
  • VIRTUAL - BIKEIOWA Racing Team Happy Hour
PANDEMIC HITS

APR
  • CANCELLED - Gents Race 10.0
  • CANCELLED - Des Moines Mayor's Annual Ride and Run for Trails
  • CANCELLED - Iowa Wind and Rock
  • CANCELLED - Fun Haters Ride
  • CANCELLED - the EPIC - 150 mile gravel race in the Ozarks
  • 19 News Posts with 14,287 views
  • Cumming Tap renewed sponsorship
  • All Ability Cycles renewed sponsorship
  • Captain Roy's renewed sponsorship
  • Christopher's Fine Jewelry renewed sponsorship
MAY
  • VIRTUAL - Bike Month Promotions
  • VIRTUAL - RIDE OF SILENCE - Des Moines (16th year)
  • IMBCS- Iowa Mountain Bike Championship Series (IMBCS) cancels whole series
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - WE SKIPPED - Sterile Iowan 200
  • CANCELLED - MADCO100
  • CANCELLED - Firetrucker Dan's Memorial Bridges Ride - Day 1
  • CANCELLED - Firetrucker Dan's Memorial Bridges Ride - Day 2
  • CANCELLED - Cyclo De Mayo
  • CANCELLED - Pedaler's Jamboree 2020
  • CANCELLED - Chichaqua Valley Trail 2020 Cycling Tour
  • 27 News Posts with 14,742 views
  • Bike Country renewed sponsorship
  • Bikes to You renewed sponsorship
  • Des Moines Cycle Club renewed sponsorship
  • Mickey's Irish Pub renewed sponsorship
  • Sully's Irish Pub renewed sponsorship
  • Lederman Bail Bonds renewed sponsorship
  • Reclaimed Rails Brewing renewed sponsorship
JUN
  • VIRTUAL - Promoted National Trails Day
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - WE SKIPPED - INDY 50 Gravel Rally
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - WE SKIPPED - Tim O'Connor Memorial Ride
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - WE SKIPPED - Southwest Iowa Gravel Grinder (SWIGG)
  • CANCELLED - Bicycle Night - Pork Chop Dinner @ Triangle Tap
  • CANCELLED - Prairie Burn Bike Ride and Music Festival
  • CANCELLED - Loess Hills Enduro
  • CANCELLED - Solstice Ride
  • CANCELLED - Iowa Games Gravel Race
  • CANCELLED - Des Moines Trail and Greenways Committee Meeting
  • CANCELLED - Follow Your Folly - Cruiser 100 ride!
  • 59 News Posts with 20,636 views
  • Nite Hawk Lounge renewed sponsorship
  • Barr Bicycle & Fitness renewed sponsorship
  • Beaverdale Bicycles renewed sponsorship
  • T-shirt Graphix renewed sponsorship
  • Rassy's renewed sponsorship
  • Founder's Irish Pub renewed sponsorship
  • Whiskey River - Ankeny renewed sponsorship
  • Big Cock Bike Shop renewed sponsorship
  • Lake Country Cyclists renewed sponsorship
JUL
AUG
  • Polk City - Saylorville Lake Fatbike laps
  • Wild West Backpacking trip - 340+ miles - Montana & Idaho
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - WE SKIPPED - 72 Hours of Sterile Iowan
  • CANCELLED - The BACooN Ride
  • CANCELLED - Rooster Tail Ride 2020
  • CANCELLED - re-scheduled Loess Hills Enduro
  • CANCELLED - Crushed Rock Classic p/b Ridley
  • CANCELLED - Gravel Worlds 2020
  • 62 News Posts with 21,300 views
  • AJ's on E. Court renewed sponsorship
  • City of Decorah renewed sponsorship
SEP
  • Newton - Buffalo 55
  • Cumming - Night CIRREM
  • Polk City - Saylorville Lake Fatbike laps
  • VIRTUAL - IOWA TRAILS SUMMIT 2020 - Finding Money for Your Trail
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - Turds of Misery--Revenge of the Turds
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - WE SKIPPED - RAGBRAI Roadshows
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - GP Des Moines Criterium
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - WE SKIPPED - Redfield ROCK'N'ROLL
  • CANCELLED - Renegade Cyclocross Practices
  • CANCELLED - Cedar Valley Pedal Fest
  • CANCELLED - re-scheduled Double Triple Bypass - Colorado 200
  • CANCELLED - Cannonball Cross
  • CANCELLED - Dirty Wooden Shoe
  • CANCELLED - Cornerstone Cross
  • CANCELLED - Capital City Cross
  • CANCELLED - Trek Cup - Madison WI
  • 47 News Posts with 14,094 views
  • Cedar Valley Trails renewed sponsorship
  • Ryno Velo came on as sponsor
OCT
  • Carlisle - North River Trail - bike
  • Carlisle - Summerset Trail - bike
  • Indianola - Lake Ahquabi State Park - hike & bike
  • Pilot Mound - Pilot Mound - hike
  • Boone County (Minor State Forests) - hike
  • Boone - Ledges State Park - hike
  • Des Moines - Margo Frankel Woods State Park - hike & bike
  • Hampton - Beeds Lake State Park - hike & bike
  • Ventura - McIntosh Woods State Park - hike
  • Clear Lake - Clear Lake State Park - hike
  • Mason City - Lime Creek Conservation Area - bike
  • Forest City - Pilot Knob State Park - hike & camp
  • Algona - Ambrose A. Call State Park - hike
  • Emmetsburg - Kearny State Park - small hike
  • Estherville - Fort Defiance State Park - hike
  • Milford - Emerson Bay State Recreation Area Campground - hike & camp
  • Milford - Iowa Great Lakes Trail (West Okoboji Lake) - bike
  • Arnolds Park - Arnolds Park - kite & bike
  • Wahpeton - Gull Point State Park - hike
  • Spirit Lake - Elinor Bedell State Park - hike
  • Arnolds Park - Lower Gar Park Access - hike
  • Spirit Lake - Marble Beach State Recreation Area Campground - camp
  • Spirit Lake - Iowa Great Lakes Trail (Big Spirit Lake) - bike
  • Spirit Lake - Mini Wakan State Park - hike
  • Spirit Lake - Templar Park - hike
  • Ocheyedan - Ocheyedan Mound - hike
  • Sibley - Hawkeye Point (highest natural point in Iowa) - small hike
  • Granite - Gitchie Manitou State Preserve - hike
  • Le Mars - Maser Recreational Trail - bike
  • Le Mars - Floyd Valley Trail - bike
  • Le Mars - Bike Central - visit
  • Westfield - Five-Ridge Prairie State Preserve - hike
  • Sioux City - Stone State Park - hike, bike & camp
  • Sioux City - Riverfront Trail - bike
  • Smithland - Southwood Conservation Area - hike & camp
  • Onawa - Lewis and Clark State Park - hike
  • Onawa - Sylvan Runkel State Preserve - hike
  • Pisgah - Murray Hill Scenic Overlook - hike
  • Harlan - Prairie Rose State Park - hike
  • Lewis - Cold Springs Park - hike & bike
  • Lewis - Rock Cut Trail - hike
  • Anita - Lake Anita State Park - hike
  • Winterset - Pammel State Park - hike
  • Winterset - Clark Tower - hike
  • VanMeter - Badger Creek - hike
  • Peru - Clanton Creek Recreation Area - hike
  • Afton - Three Mile Lake and Recreation Area - hike & camp
  • Polk City - Saylorville Lake Fatbike laps
  • Polk City - Big Creek Lake Laps
  • VIRTUAL - IOWA TRAILS SUMMIT 2020 - Promoting Trail Use Post Pandemic
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - Iowa Mountain Bike Festival
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - WE SKIPPED - Valley Cross
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - WE SKIPPED - Joe Mann Memorial Ride
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - Kyle Platts - Celebration of Life
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - Relay Cross 2020
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - WE SKIPPED - RAGBRAI Roadshows
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - WE SKIPPED - Spotted Horse Gravel Ultra
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - WE SKIPPED - rescheduled Iowa Wind and Rock
  • CANCELLED - the GRAND
  • CANCELLED - Des Moines Marathon Course Support
  • CANCELLED - Renegade Cyclocross Practices
  • CANCELLED - Spooky Cross
  • CANCELLED - JingleCross
  • CANCELLED - CITA Dirty Duathlon
  • CANCELLED - Des Moines Trail and Greenways Committee Meeting
  • 40 News Posts with 9,847 views
  • Wayne's Ski & Cycle renewed sponsorship

NOV
  • Creston - Green Valley State Park - bike
  • Corning - Lake Icaria State Park - bike
  • Stanton - Viking Lake State Park - hike
  • Hamburg - Waubonsie State Park - hike
  • Bedford - Lake of Three Fires - hike
  • Davis City - Nine Eagles State Park - hike
  • Allerton - Bobwhite State Park - hike
  • Centerille - Sharon Bluffs State Park - hike
  • Moravia - Honey Creek State Park - hike, bike & camp
  • Chariton - Red Haw State Park - bike
  • Woodburn - Stephens State Forest (Woodburn Unit) - bike
  • Martensdale - Zo-El Annett Woods - hike
  • Polk City - Big Creek Lake Laps
  • VIRTUAL - Know Your Rights Webinar: Hosted by Lawyer Jim Freeman
  • VIRTUAL - IOWA TRAILS SUMMIT 2020 - The Future of Iowa Trails
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - WE SKIPPED - Valley Cross #2
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - Fat Tuesdays
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - WE SKIPPED - Valley Junction Alley Cat Ride
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - Cranksgiving 2020 - Iowa City
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - Cranksgiving 2020 - Cedar Rapids
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - Tour De Lights
  • CANCELLED - Bobber's Cross
  • CANCELLED - Midstate cyclocross
  • CANCELLED - 21st annual Turkey Day Ride
  • 47 News Posts with 8,038 views
  • Barntown Brewing renewed sponsorship
DEC
  • Polk City - Big Creek Lake Laps
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - Global Fat Bike Day
  • COVID-RESTRICTED - Big Creek 60 - BC6D
  • CANCELLED - State Cyclocross Championships
  • CANCELLED - Valley Cross #3
  • 17 News Posts with 2,662 views as of December 21st 2020
  • Schuling Hitch renewed sponsorship
  • Bike Law renewed sponsorship

THANKS for reading this far and for supporting BIKEIOWA. We are looking forward to our 20th year in 2021. Let's hope for some normalcy!

We wish YOU and yours a healthy and prosperous 2021.

RIDE SAFE !!
Scott Sumpter & Jess Rundlett


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