Picturesque Cycling at Rock River Madness

Discover Dixon is calling all cyclists, from amateurs to the highly experienced, to challenge themselves at Rock River Madness on May 4 at Lowell Park, in Dixon.

“It’s an all-day event with rides planned in the morning and afternoon,” says Lucas Pauley, marketing director of Discover Dixon. “We offer multiple course options to fit skill level and preferred discipline.”

Last year’s inaugural event saw cyclists of multiple ages and from multiple countries. Pauley hopes to keep the momentum going this year.

“We’re excited to continue to grow this event in 2024 and the years ahead,” he says. “Proceeds help to benefit the local bike community – it promotes healthy activity and living in our community, introduces people in our community to mountain biking and road cycling, and it shows off one of the most beautiful parks in northern Illinois, in our opinion, the historic Lowell Park.”

Six courses are prepared for cyclists to choose from: three road courses and three mountain bike courses.

A 30-mile road route begins at 8 a.m., ideal for cyclists of all abilities. Riders venture through the rolling hills of Lee and Ogle counties while taking in views of the Rock River region. With moderate elevation changes, this route is perfect for those wanting a scenic, enjoyable ride.

The 55-mile road route begins at 7 a.m. and features more hills and elevation changes.

Experienced cyclists can enjoy picturesque sites throughout Lee and Ogle counties as they tackle this course.

The 100-mile road route begins at 7 a.m. and entices the most-experienced cyclists with challenging elevation changes and steep climbs. The long, demanding route offers stunning views and a major sense of accomplishment when completed.

The mountain bike races kick off at 9 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 1:15 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.
The 6-mile mountain bike course is ideal for novice mountain bikers. The route is an introduction to off-road cycling with moderate elevation changes and a relatively smooth terrain.

The 10-mile mountain bike trail offers a more challenging route, with steeper climbs and descents, as well as technical sections that require riders to be skilled in handling their bikes.

The 13-mile trail is the ultimate mountain bike challenge, featuring steep climbs, technical descents and challenging terrain that tests even the most skilled riders.

“The local bike group approached Discover Dixon last year, since we’re an organization known for running events in Dixon. Their passion to create a regional bike event bringing people to our community inspired Discover Dixon to help make this happen,” Pauley says.

Registration costs $65 per person, regardless of the trail selected. Cyclists can register at Discover Dixon is also accepting additional donations for the Rock River Valley Bicycle Club, which advocates for greenways, bicycle-friendly and pedestrian-friendly roads in northwest Illinois.

“We have riders from Chicago to Wisconsin to southern Illinois already signed up to join us,” Pauley says. “We hope to see the numbers continue to grow.”

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