Nearly 1,000 expected for Geneva Lake bike tour
The 21.5-mile ride begins at 10 a.m. Saturday. Dawn Marie Jacobs, an event organizer, said about 500 people have registered. About 500 more are expected the day of the ride.
“We started this 14 years ago, and it was just a fun bike ride around the lake that we did with friends,” Jacobs said.
About 180 people showed up for the first ride in 1996, she added.
Shortly before the ride’s second year, Tim Hibbard and Krissy Zadler, who both helped organize the event, were killed in an auto accident.
Since then, the bike ride has evolved into a memorial tour. About 500 people rode in 1997, and with the tour’s growth, organizers were able to create incentives for those involved.
Jacobs said $4,000 scholarships are given to two Badger High School graduates each year. They must have a 3.0 GPA, volunteer for 10 hours and attend a Wisconsin college or university.
Hibbard and Zadler attended Badger High School.
A $500 donation also is made to Kettle Moraine State Park for bike trail maintenance. That’s on top of prizes given away at the event.
The ride starts in Lake Geneva and passes through Fontana and Williams Bay. There are nine stops at sponsoring taverns along the way.
Jacobs describes the event as a leisure ride and not a race.
Jennifer Veith of Lake Geneva has participated “on-and-off” since the beginning. Though the route spans more than 21 miles, she said it’s fairly easy for anyone to get involved.
“I ride a bike, but there are so many people that ride just once a year, and they seem to have no problem,” she said.
Cyclists can register from 8 to 10 a.m. for $40 the day of the ride.
The forecast Saturday for Lake Geneva is a 30 percent chance of rain with temperatures in the high 60s. The ride will continue as planned despite any weather.
For more information on the Fat Tire Memorial Tour, visit its website at fattirememorialtour.com.