Thousands of Iowa bicycle lovers to gather at this weekend’s expo

DES MOINES — It may be the dead of winter, but Iowans are looking ahead to spring when they can do some pedal-powered two wheeling. This weekend is the Iowa Bike Expo where all things cycling will be on display and for sale through dozens of exhibitors at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

Iowa Bicycle Coalition executive director Mark Wyatt says the Saturday event has become a wintertime beacon for bike riders, a glimmer of hope for the warm weather to come. “It’s bikes, gear, destinations and events,” Wyatt says, “so if you’re shopping for some recreational activities, this is the place that you want to be this weekend.”

For Iowans who are in the market for a new bike, Wyatt says this is a great place to test ride some new options without having to worry about the weather.  “We have a large demo area where you can take a bike over from one of the retailers and give it a go,” Wyatt says. “A lot of people like the recumbent trikes or the electric bikes or just trying out what that new bike feels like inside and kind of a temperature-controlled area.”

This is the 10th year for the expo in Des Moines, which Wyatt says has continued to gain momentum each year.  “We’ve grown from just to kind of a hallway expo up to filling up Hy-Vee Hall A,” Wyatt says. “Usually, we see somewhere between 3,000 and 6,000 people that come to this event so it’s really popular. We’ve kind of gone over the hump for winter and people are starting to look for spring and summer in planning their recreational activities.”

The expo runs Saturday from 10 AM to 4:30 PM. It coincides with the route announcement party for RAGBRAI that night, also at the Iowa Events Center.