DES MOINES — It’s the dead of winter but Iowa’s hard-core cyclists are thinking ahead to spring and getting back in the saddle. The Iowa Bike Expo, what’s billed as one of the largest one-day bike shows in the Midwest, will be held tomorrow in Des Moines.
Luke Hoffman, executive director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, says they’re expecting at least 5,000 people to attend the free event.
“We have the whole showroom floor sold out for the second time ever in our history,” Hoffman says. “Last time we had this many vendors, which we have 130 this year, was 2014 for our 10-year anniversary. This year, 2024 is our 20-year anniversary, so we had to make it bigger and better than ever.”
At the expo, Hoffman says you’ll be able to chat with representatives from local businesses, state and local government agencies, as well as cycling advocates, while vendors will offer products and seminars on the cutting edge of bike safety, technology, and innovation.
“Community organizations, nonprofits are there to do like an engaging interactive activity, so you can learn and get educated on some of their missions, which is really cool,” Hoffman says, “and then, of course, bike apparel, bike gear, Primal is one of our sponsors, so they’ll be there with all their gear and swag.”
The expo runs from 10 AM to 4 PM, and will be followed by the RAGBRAI Route Announcement Party, beginning at 6 PM. To raise money for the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, Hoffman says there’s some $38,000 in cycling products that will be subject of a silent auction.
“Those items will be featured, and then of course, you’re going to see the route announced,” Hoffman says. “Bad Friends is the band that’s going to be playing, and they’re going to be auctioning off an old bike from one of the RAGBRAI founders, which is really cool, and those proceeds will go towards the Dream Team, which is another great nonprofit organization we should be supporting.”
The expo and party are being held at the Iowa Events Center. Hoffman notes there’s free parking for anyone who arrives on a bike.