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Chillicothe is 'Best' Host for State BAM Event
August 4, 2016

Chillicothe is 'best' host for state BAM event Amy Supple, director of the Greater Chillicothe Tourism Region, received an e-mail from Big BAM event organizer and Missouri Life publisher Greg Wood notifying Chillicothe it had been judged as the best host city of the Big BAM (Bicycles Across Missouri) Tour in June. Supple was delighted that Chillicothe had been selected No. 1 for the second time of a major Bicycle Tour that had been hosted by the city. "I want to thank all the people who had a role in helping promote and publicize this event," said Supple. In the complete e-mail sent to the Tourism and Visitor's Bureau office here, it said, "of the seven overnight communities on Big BAM 2016, Chillicothe was ranked number one by registered BAM riders with Shelbina ranked a close second." Event Organizer Wood went on to say, "We are very grateful to all the folks in Chillicothe who came out and supported Big BAM. Simpson Park is a perfect setting for an event like this with all of those shade trees and having the water park open and nearby was greatly appreciated." In winning a major award as a host city for the second time for a major bicycle event, Chillicothe followed its selection by Missouri Farm Bureau, a major sponsor of the Tour of the Missouri, for winning the "Spirit Award" in 2009 as the best host city for the Tour.

600 Big BAM'ers Roll Into Town
By Brittany Tutt, C-T
June 14, 2016

CAPTION: About 600 Big Bam participants rode into town Monday, most one or two at a time. The cyclists camped out in Simpson Park Monday night and headed to their next stop, Brookfield, early Tuesday. Cyclists were entertained Monday in Simpson Park by live music from the Dustin Thomas and the 190 Rhythm Section, Flannigan's Right Hook and Final Mix Show Band. There were also a variety of vendors set up. Cyclists began their biking journey in St. Joseph on Saturday and will end their trip in Shelbina on Thursday.


C-T Photos / Paul Sturm

An estimated 600 Big BAM (Bicycle Across Missouri) participants camped out in Simpson Park last night (Monday) and were entertained by live music from the Dustin Thomas and the 190 Rhythm Section, Flannigan's Right Hook and Final Mix Show Band. There were also vendors set up in the park for Big Bam'ers including: Hy-Vee Grill, Chilli Cafe, Essential Kneads Cafe, Chillicothe High School Band concessions and Uprooted Kitchen. Amy Supple, director of the Greater Chillicothe Visitors Region, said she's always amazed, but never surprised, how the Chillicothe community is so welcoming and generous. "We received so many positive comments about Chillicothe, including compliments about Simpson Park, our beautiful downtown, their sliced bread snack and all the great people. We are so thankful to everybody who made Big Bam in Chillicothe a great event, including our corporate sponsors, dozens of volunteers, law enforcement and EMS, vendors and all the Chillicothe businesses and residents who made the cyclists feel so welcome."


C-T Photos / Paul Sturm

Big BAM cyclists began their journey in St. Joseph. Many arrived in St. Joseph on Saturday for registration. On day two (Sunday), participants biked to Hamilton and camped out at the Steam Engine Show Grounds, and on Monday they were camped out in Simpson Park. Today (Tuesday), they will bike to Brookfield and camp there, and Wednesday (day 5) bikers will camp out at the Macon County Expo Center in Macon. On Thursday (day 6) bikers will end their trip in Shelbina. Bikers ride approximately 50 miles per day. From Hamilton, the cyclists took Highway 13 to Route U, then traveled 20 miles on U.S. Highway 36 before turning south on Route D to Ludlow. They stopped at the Ludlow Lions Ball Field between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for lunch, drinks and music, and then headed on to Chillicothe, taking Route DD to C, through Dawn and then returning onto U.S. 36.

Luther Briggs, 65, of Colorado Springs, Colo., was one of the bikers camping out in Simpson Park last night. Briggs said, like himself, many Big BAM participants have also participated in RAGBRAI (The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa). However, he said many are enjoying Big BAM even more due to RAGBRAI attracting tens of thousands of bikers. "I was looking for something smaller... This is smaller scale but still fits the bill. You don't have to wait in a massive line to use the showers or the porta-potties here," Briggs said. Briggs has been cycling since 2006. He said he likes biking in groups because it's fun, and he gets to meet a lot of people. He also enjoys the feeling of accomplishment he gets while biking. With the temperatures being high this week, Briggs said he had some major dehydration problems Monday and will be riding the bus to the next stop (Brookfield) today (Tuesday). Briggs said it's been extremely hot and when he's on the asphalt it's even hotter, but he drinks as much water as he can and he said his portable fan is a "lifesaver." Chris Colhour, 49, of Cameron said he became involved with Big Bam because it's a fun challenge. Colhour participated in Big Bam last year as well and has been biking for about six years. He says he enjoys biking for the freedom and the fitness. Colhour said he hasn't been affected by the heat. "I leave early and stay hydrated," he said. Both Colhour and Briggs were traveling alone. Briggs had never been to Chillicothe before but said he thought it was a "lovely little town," and Colhour said Chillicothe provided the "nicest campground" he's had so far.

BIG BAM BICYCLE TOUR
May 31, 2016

Chillicothe will host Big Bam Bicycle Across Missouri on Monday and Tuesday, June 13 and 14. This is the second year for Big Bam, the first for this year's route, which is a 300-mile ride from St. Joseph to Hannibal with overnight stops in Hamilton, Chillicothe, Brookfield, Macon and Shelbina. Organizers expect over 500 bicyclists for this rolling party.

A local organizing committee in Chillicothe is working with the Big Bam organization to provide a safe and fun event for the cyclists in Chillicothe. Events will take place in both Downtown and Simpson Park on Monday June 13. The riders will stay overnight in Chillicothe, some camping in Simpson Park and some staying in local hotels, and will depart Chillicothe by 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 14. The event is a recreational ride, with participants traveling at their own pace. As they ride from Hamilton to Chillicothe on Monday, June 13, they will arrive in Chillicothe anytime from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Events are being planned downtown in the Silver Moon Plaza and Courthouse area from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to welcome the cyclists. Downtown will be an ideal place for local residents to come and cheer on the riders and join in the fun. Simpson Park will host the main Big Bam activities. Vendors will be set up in the park and live music will begin at 4 p.m. and conclude at 10 p.m. Local residents are invited to attend the concerts and fun in Simpson Park. However, the park will be closed to all vehicle traffic for safety all day Monday through Tuesday at 11 a.m. Chilli Bay will remain open during normal hours and will be accessible from the Country Club Drive entrance. Big Bam participants will be camping overnight in Simpson Park - the park will close to all non-participants when the evening's entertainment is over, about 10 p.m. The entertainment line up on the main stage includes Dustin Thomas and the 190 Rhythm Section at 4 p.m., Flannagan's Right Hook from Kansas City at 6 p.m. and headliners The Final Mix Band from Des Moines at 8 p.m.

The committee urges the entire community to make the participants feel welcome and to come out and support the event. Local businesses and residents can put up signs along the route welcoming cyclists, restaurants can offer specials and coupons and vendors can register to set up in Simpson Park. "This is a tremendous opportunity for Chillicothe, not only to show off our beautiful community but to have a positive economic impact on our town," said Amy Supple, director of the Greater Chillicothe Visitors Region. "We hope it is a day both the Big Bam cyclists and our local residents are able to enjoy."

Excerpt City Council Meeting 12/14/15 - In other business Monday evening, the council voted 3-2 to allow for the sale and consumption of alcohol in a city park or recreational facility and approved alcohol in Simpson Park for the Big BAM (Bike Across Missouri) event June 13. Both measures passed with Councilman-at-Large David Moore, 1st Ward Councilman Reed Dupy, and 2nd Ward Councilman Wayne Cunningham voting "Yes" and 3rd Ward Councilman Tom Douglas and 4th Ward Councilman Paul Howard voting "No." The first measure was an amendment to an existing city ordinance to allow for the sale and consumption of alcohol in a city park or recreational facility. Under the new amendment, anyone wishing to have alcohol at an event in a park or recreational facility would first have to request permission from the council. The council would then decide whether to grant the request. The second measure voted on was specifically whether to allow alcohol during the Big BAM event. Douglas and Howard stated that the people they talked with were not in favor of alcohol in the parks. Moore stated he received input from interested parties with varying opinions; however, he noted that the Big BAM could have a significant economic impact on the city with an estimated 1,500 cyclists and 700 support people participating and he was in favor of allowing the event to take place. Bike Across Missouri is a six-day, 300-mile journey across north Missouri, from St. Joseph to Hannibal, via U.S. Highway 36. The cyclists are scheduled to arrive in Chillicothe on June 13 and stay overnight. The Highway 36 organization, of which the local tourism group is a member, asked the Big BAM to bring their tour to U.S. Highway 36 this year. While some details have yet to be worked out, local tourism director Amy Supple stated that the Missouri State Highway Patrol as well as local law enforcement will be present during the event. This is the second year for the Big BAM and she said that her organization had talked with last year's host cities and that none experienced alcohol-related problems. Supple invited the council members to attend a planning meeting that is scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday).

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