According to my dictionary, a jamboree is a carousal or any noisy merrymaking. The Pedaler’s Jamboree is all that with bicycles…a trail mix of slow riding, hanging out, eating, and drinking to a soundtrack of high-energy, Missouri-infused, live music.
The two day event begins on Saturday, May 26th, in downtown Columbia. Riders take off for a leisurely ride to Boonville via the MKT and Katy trails. Along the way are many opportunities to stop and enjoy great music and refreshments. At the end of the trail, at Kemper Park, is an evening of main stage performances, Burn Circus, more refreshments, and free camping for registered riders.
On Sunday riders will backtrack, enjoying more music and refreshments (including an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast) and an after party at Broadway Brewery, brewers of Pedaler’s Jam Session IPA microbrew. I did my first Jamboree last year, but couldn’t fully participate because I was desparately needed for a surprise disco party and a midnight run to the airport. I vowed to let nothing hold me back this year, especially after seeing the musical line-up:
The Kay Brothers, Primitive Soul, We Live in Public, The BluesSlingers, and Honkey Tonk Band.
I’ve been collecting reasons not to attend the Jamboree and here they are:
I’m too old/I’m too young. Nope. You are not. People of all ages enjoyed last year’s ride. Awesome folks from one month to 80+ were seen having a good time.
I’m not a cyclist. You don’t have to be. If you don’t want to cycle the trail to Boonville, you can get a pass just for the festivities at Kemper Park. You could walk the trail. You could skip the trail. There will be plenty of people on the ride who rarely ride bikes; it’s not a race.
I don’t like to camp. I don’t like to camp either. I like to sleep! You can stay in a hotel and take the shuttle bus, or you can have your 17 year old son pick you up from Kemper. I’ll be doing the latter.
What if I get a flat? There will be SAG support on the ride. You will also be surrounded by friendly, happy cyclists who are willing to stop and help a rookie.
It might rain. Yes, it might, but the show will go on. We’ll all enjoy it, rain or shine.
I can’t haul all my camping stuff on my bike. You don’t have to! Off Track Events will do it for you; just drop it off at the registration point on Saturday morning. Do the same on Sunday morning at Kemper, and pick it back up when you get to town.
I don’t own any spandex. Spandex is totally optional. It is not an option that I ever choose.
I don’t know what to bring. All you need are a few things: a bike, sunscreen, and some cash. If you are camping, you’ll need shelter unless you are very good at quickly making friends. Everything else you can find along the way. I plan to bring water, a camera, sunglasses, a bike helmet, food, a phone, and a change of clothes because people are always spilling beer on me.
I don’t think that I can handle the ride. It sounds hard. It’s not. The trail is flat and quite beautiful in places. There is one hill at the very end, but it is easy to manage. Again, it’s a leisurely ride and not a race.
I want to bring my kids, but I’m worried that they won’t go to sleep in the campground. Children have an awesome time on the ride, and they are totally pooped out at the end of the day. The music switches to acoustic at 10:45, so the little ones won’t have any trouble settling down.
Still have questions? Check out the website for the schedule, food options, and more info on camping and registration. Early registration has been extended: You can save $10 by registering before midnight on Tuesday, the 15th. I’ll see you on the trail.