Record field rides in 10th Dam to Dam

By Joseph Slacian

Rain couldn’t stop a record field of bike enthusiasts from traveling Wabash County roads during the 10th annual Dam to Dam Century Ride on Sunday.

Riders, dressed in colorful outfits and on a variety of two-, three- and four-wheel bicycles, began leaving the Wabash County YMCA shortly before 8 a.m. on one of six marked routes throughout the county. They began returning before noon, depending on the route which were 15, 32, 50, 62, 80 and 100 miles long.

There were 747 registered riders in this year’s field.

Event organizer Christine Flohr was pleased with the event and the record field.

“Even though we’ve got some rain, because we don’t have a lot of wind and it’s not a torrential downpour, rain isn’t necessarily bad,” she said. “It’s not the most comfortable to ride in, but because we don’t have the wind, that makes it bearable.”

This is the second straight year that weather has hampered the ride. Last year rain, strong wind gusts and below normal temperatures forced many riders to cut short their efforts.

Aside from the rain, the ride was going well.

“Everything is going well,” said Flohr, Director of Tourism for Visit Wabash County. “The riders who are coming back in are grateful not only for the quality of the event, but for the volunteers. The volunteers are the ones interacting with these guests all days long. They are the frontline of the experience.”

Online registration ended at noon Friday with a total of 625 participants. That means that 122 people registered on site either Saturday or Sunday.

“I was really hoping for 800,” Flohr said. “I do believe the forecast does impact those who wait to the very last day. That’s what they’re waiting on. They’re waiting until the day of the event to see what the weather will be.

“Do I want to ride 100 miles in rain, or do I want to want to ride 100 miles in sunshine? There are some who want to do 100 miles in sunshine.”

However, several registered Sunday in spite of the forecast, she noted.

One rider drove in from Chicago, where he just relocated from Switzerland.

“He moved there from Switzerland last week and heard about this ride from a friend,” Flohr said. “He’s riding today. It just depends on the type of rider you are. We’re very pleased with that number.”

Posted on 2019 Sep 10