Tour de Nebraska Catches Breath in Bow

Tour de Nebraska Catches Breath in Bow
Bicycles spangle the Melham Park gazebo.

BROKEN BOW – Before kicking up dust and gravel on the way to Ord, the Tour de Nebraska (TDN) had a chance to kick up their feet for two nights in Broken Bow.

Melham Park and Kinkaider Brewing Company played host and oasis to the gathering of nearly 400 bicyclists as they stretched their legs on the first leg of their journey through the Sandhills.

The break between stretches is a new addition to the 2022 tour, and a welcome one at that, say many of the bikers. Denise Patton of Cheyenne, Wyoming is particularly grateful for the opportunity to soak up her new surroundings after a day of breezing through them.

“It’s wonderful. It’s gorgeous countryside,” Patton says. “I’m sort of in awe of the whole thing. I’m taking pictures to show my husband and my mother, and she’s envious.”

Having time to breathe, she says, provides a chance to explore some of her interests outside of cycling. “I brought my paints, so it’s a prime opportunity to see some nearby countryside.”

The 2022 tour is Patton’s first with TDN, as well as her first time in the Sandhills. She isn’t quite speechless, but certainly close.

“I think I ought to have a critique or something, but I don’t. I’m just happy to be here, and glad to have the opportunity to do it.”

One hitching post of many in Melham Park.

First-time riders are not the only cyclists pleased with the chance to spend a bit of time in Broken Bow. Hans, a veteran with the tour and Dannebrog resident, says that the break allows him to really catch up with friends he sees once a year through the event.

“This is wonderful. We don’t have to break camp every night. I’ve got several friends that I come and meet with, and because everyone rides at a different speed, I’ve got several people I know are way faster than I am, and some of the people I know are way slower than I am.”

He adds that the longer layovers are a built-in recalibration for him and his friends. “We start out together, we finish up together, and enjoy the local hospitality together, and that’s what counts.”

The tour left Broken Bow on Friday morning for Ord, but not before a proper send-off breakfast served up by members of the community, including KCNI and KBBN’s own Jeremy Shipe.

Kinkaider Brewing provided shade, refreshment, and entertainment for incoming bikers.