Last year was my first total Pedaler’s Jamboree experience, all 60 miles on a hot, dry weekend. It exceeded my high expectations for fun and fabulous music. This year the Jamboree starts in Columbia on Saturday, May 25th. There is a long, leisurely ride out to Boonville with great stops on the way to fill up on music, food, and drink. The highlight of that leg last year? For me, it was Dirtfoot at New Franklin.
The line up for the show Saturday night at the campground features Pokey LaFarge. I caught them at Mojo’s once and could not take my eyes off the harmonica player; that man is a character. Read the interview with Pokey here. Other bands playing Saturday night: JD Wilkes & the Dirt Daubers, Man in the Ring, The Ben Miller Band, and the Flood Brothers. Burn Circus will perform at Kemper after dark. If you haven’t seen fire spinners spin in the dark yet, you are in for a treat. The crowd was mesmerized last year.
Off Track Events adds more and more bands each year. There are sixteen bands playing on Saturday and Sunday, and four more playing on the extended tour. Extended tour? Yep. More than one person asked for an extra day, and their wishes were granted. There will be more cycling on the trail, this time to Hartsburg for another night of camping and music.
Check out this post to get all your questions answered about the Jamboree. Some new additions this year: tokens, yoga, a mustache competition, and showers at Kemper until 10 PM. I am especially excited about the last one. Ticket prices will go up on May 11th, and there will be a registration cap this year.
On the ride last year, I took some time to make new friends and interview them in order to get some different perspectives on the weekend. If you meet these people on this year’s ride, be sure to ask for autographs.
Tracy and her daughter Ella travelled from Lawrence, Kansas, to join the Jamboree. Tracy is a spin instructor and has raced before. They camped in their VW bus.
Who had more fun–you or your child? I had more fun in the moment. A few days later, my daughter said it was awesome!
Did Ella have any trouble dealing with the length of the ride or the heat? Yes, the length was tough for her. She only made it eighteen of the thirty miles. I am still proud of her. She had only gone three miles before this event.
What did you think of the music? I loved the music. I really enjoyed Dirtfoot and the HipNecks.
What is one moment that stood out for you? The crew was very nice. I went to this event the very first year they had it. It has come a long way. I like all the vendors and options. However, what stands out the most: The music never stopped! I heard bands playing at 4 AM!
Aside from water and sunscreen, what was the most important item that you had with you? My family and friends.
Jeff is from Rolla and joined his friend Vida for his very first Jamboree in 2012. He bikes for fun and for transportation. He camped overnight at Kemper.
Was the Pedaler’s Jamboree everything you thought it would be? It was a lot bigger than I expected. I don’t mean big crowds, but more music opportunities and a bigger show production than I expected.
What made you decide to ride this year? I really love live music, especially really rootsy or blues music, so I wanted to see bands like The Ben Miller Band and Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy. Catching two performances of Dirtfoot was a real treat too. That was the biggest reason I wanted to do the ride.
Aside from water and sunscreen, what was the most important item you had with you? Other than a bike, I’m glad I brought some cash to buy beverages and the really great local food.
What was one moment that really stood out for you? There was a cute little doggy that went right up on the stage when Dirtfoot started playing at Katfish Katy’s. He hung out on stage for a good part of the show. That and just so many bikes, whole herds of them at times.
Bob and his dog Raven are from Republic, Missouri. Bob bicycles for fun and discovered the Jamboree through a Meet Up group out of Springfield, Missouri. They spent the night camping at Kemper Park.
What made you decide to take your dog? I take my dog almost everywhere. I didn’t want her to be left home all weekend.
How did she travel? She travels in the cart I pull behind my mountain bike, though she would much rather run beside me. On Sunday she ran on a leash for short distances, and we took many water breaks in the shade. She is approximately 65 lbs and cart is 35 lbs with about 20 lbs of PowerAde/water/snacks.
What did you think of the music? We both enjoyed the music once we finally made it there! We found our friends and enjoyed the music front row. Raven was pretty tired after Sunday, and it took her a couple of days to recover to her normal energetic self.
What is one moment that stood out for you? What stood out for me was that most of the bikers wondered if everything was OK while we were walking on the trail. We were thankful to have no flats, though I had extra tubes and tools with. A big thanks goes to the volunteers supplying the water point at Pearson’s silo. It was well needed for a lot of bicyclists, though we were all set.
Aside from water and sunscreen, what was the most important item that you had with you? The most important items were my Camelbak and my cell phone (to keep track of time).
And I give you the Numbnutz.
What is this Numbnutz group? We are salty, sweaty, yet intoxicating. We’re a group of fun-loving Midwesterners who enjoy music, belly laughs, and cold beer. Oh, yeah, and cycling. And the beer doesn’t have to be cold.
Where are you all from? Most are from the St Louis metropolitan area, but we’ve corrupted…errrr…recruited team members from the Chicago area as well.
How would you describe your biking (serious/racer; for exercise; for transportation; for fun)? We seriously ride from tavern to tavern for exercise and fun, in training for RAGBRAI, and always in search of the perfect blogger to kiss on the cheek.
Have you done the Jamboree before? Yes! This was our second year. You can actually see a segment of our group rolling by in the opening shot of the video used to advertise this year’s Jamboree.
Is it more fun as a group? Isn’t everything?
How would you describe the Jamboree? A rolling mambo line of smiles, flamboyantly weaving its way to the next thirst-quenching oasis of sonic grooviness.
What did you think of the music this year? We think “they” are doing a great job of plucking out quality bands that put out quality music. Excellent music this year and last year. Did you know that the Numbnutz happen to be Ha Ha Tonka’s biggest fans? All because of the Pedaler’s Jamboree.
What would you add to the Pedaler’s Jamboree to make it better next year? We plan on adding about another dozen Numbnutzes, if their parole officers will allow it. Ha Ha Tonka again would be sweet…but keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll be back.