Tour de Nebraska to Stop in Broken Bow for Two Nights

LOUP CITY – The 34th annual Tour de Nebraska pedals its way through the Sandhills starting Wednesday, June 22, and concludes Sunday, June 26. The bicycle tour, which covers 235 miles over varied elevations, inclines, and terrain, features routes and rides for cyclists of all skill levels.

The Nebraska Sandhills have long been a cherished destination for the ride, according to tour director Charles Schilling.

“Broken Bow, the Sandhills, are destinations our riders really love, and we’re excited to be going back there,” Schilling said.

Broken Bow and the Tour de Nebraska will reunite for the first time since 2017, marking five years since the ride last made a stop in the town. The last time through, Schilling recalls, was memorable.

“It was windy that day, and most of the wind, leaving Broken Bow, was a headwind. Our riders are trained to deal with heat, rain, and wind, but they really do prefer a tailwind; it was just one of those days,” Schilling said.

One cannot, however, spell “gusto” without “gust,” and the Tour de Nebraska has proven as much; this year’s ridership has swelled to nearly 400 registered bikers, representing, by Schilling’s estimate, all walks of life, pun aside.

“We feel the ridership represents a cross between people from all over Nebraska and elsewhere. Twenty-seven states are represented in this year’s group,” Schilling added. “We’ll have visitors from every adjacent state to Nebraska and further out. There’ll be some folks coming from different time zones. As a Nebraskan, it’s always fun to host visitors from out of state and to welcome them here.”

The route, pictured, covers five days and the potential for riders to see as many as eleven towns throughout the Sandhills. The tour begins and ends in Loup City on Wednesday with an optional off-road, gravel route on Friday, June 24, and Saturday, June 25, days three and four of the tour, respectively.

The 2022 Tour de Nebraska route.

Along the way, bikers will be treated to host towns’ hospitality featuring campsites, breweries, and meals, with opportunities to rest their legs by tubing on the North Loup River.

New to the 2022 tour is a format that allows for two nights in two different towns, a decision Schilling supports because of how it allows the state to shine as a destination.

“Our riders have invited us to explore new areas of Nebraska. Our riders love the Sandhills. At the same time, for some, this is vacation. So if they don’t have to set up their tents or break camp, we’ve given them that luxury. Certainly, after a long day, our riders don’t mind a nice craft beer, and Kinkaider Brewing, Scratchtown, they all represent the best of the best of Nebraska. We’re kind of spoiled that we get to imbibe some of Nebraska’s finest craft beer,” Schilling said.

Schilling says that taking two nights apiece in Broken Bow and Ord is a way of saying thanks to the host towns for all they do for the ride.

“It gives us an opportunity to give back to these communities that are helping us. The ride has lent itself, for different reasons, to this new format, and we’re thrilled,” Schilling said.