Bikers begin ride across Iowa on U.S. Highway 6
By Kirby Kaufman
Just remember: Under Iowa law, scooters and mopeds are motorcycles, too.
About 20 people gathered Friday in Council Bluffs in the 100 block of Broadway to begin a ride across Iowa along U.S. Highway 6 as part of the River to River Motorcycle Cruise.
Rodger Freel and his wife, Tami, both of Des Moines, chose to ride a scooter because they had recently switched from motorcycles.
“We’ve done this all over on scooters,” Tami Freel said of travelling. “It’s kind of like seeing a dog out of the window with his ears and tongue flopping. You get the thrill of fresh air.”
The couple had previously participated in a classic car ride across Iowa. However, Rodger Freel said, they prefer to travel by bike.
“This is a thrill for me,” he said. “I’d rather be on two wheels than four wheels.”
Motorcyclists will continue across the state through Newton, Adel, Des Moines, Altoona and Colfax before arriving at their final destination, Davenport.
Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh said the event was an opportunity to bring more attention to downtown Council Bluffs.
“Anytime we get people in town from out of town, it’s good for Council Bluffs,” Walsh said.
Barry Cleaveland, director of research and development for Omaha-based SilverStone Group and an organizer of the event, said the event also brought recognition to stops along historic U.S. Highway 6.
The Iowa Division of the Route 6 Tourist Association, which sponsors the event, plans to install historic U.S. Highway 6 signs across the state in an effort to recognize the road and promote local businesses.
“We want to bring attention to all the communities on Highway 6,” said David Darby, the organization’s executive director. “We like to encourage people to stop at local mom and pop establishments.”
U.S. Highway 6 stretches 3,205 miles from Provincetown, Mass., to Bishop, Calif. It formerly stretched 3,652 miles from Long Beach, Calif., to Provincetown, making it the nation’s longest highway, before portions of its California route were decommissioned.
Riders traveled through Pottawattamie County and made stops at the freedom rock located in Oakland and White Pole Road, which was designed in the early 1900s to follow along the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad line from Des Moines to Council Bluffs.
Mike Brink rode three hours from Dover, Kan., to Council Bluffs to participate in the ride across Iowa. He also chose to ride a scooter instead of a traditional motorcycle.
“There’s no cattle to feed and no work to worry about,” he said. “You can relax and watch the world go by.”
(Source: The Dail Nonpareil)