By Matt Decker
Public Affairs Office
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (June 7, 2018) — Approximately 500 bicyclists are expected to roll in to downtown Waynesville along Historic Route 66 the afternoon of June 20 as part of the annual Big BAM — which stands for Bicycle Across Missouri.
Local and area residents can not only help welcome riders to Waynesville that afternoon, but also enjoy some free concerts at Waynesville City Park, which will serve as the official base camp for the ride that evening.
The 399th Army Band is scheduled to perform from 3 to 5 p.m. at the park, followed by the self-described “honky tonk band,” Two-Bit Steve, which performs a variety of old-time country and rock ‘n’ roll tunes. While the park is technically closed to host the event, the concerts are free and open to the public.
This year’s ride is the fourth annual Big BAM. The event encompasses six days along Missouri’s portion of Route 66, with riders scheduled to depart from Joplin, Missouri, June 17 and finish the event June 22 in Eureka, Missouri.
“Waynesville is one of five ‘overnight towns’ along Route 66 that riders will spend the night in,” said Karen Hood, Marketing Relations manager with the Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.
Hood said participating bicyclists can enjoy live music, food, vendors and more that will be set up in the park before they are shuttled to camp sites, local hotels and other accommodations — including a number of portable, air conditioned “sleep pods.”
“They’re going to have food vendors there (at the park),” Hood said. “The logistics folks who put this whole event together will have the stage set up. They even have a mobile store that sells bicycle gear that they bring along with them.”
Riders will arrive in Waynesville from Lebanon, and, depending on weather conditions, depart early the
next morning for Cuba, Missouri. Interactive maps of the route are available online at https://www.bigbamride.com/route-detailed.
“We have riders coming in from all over the U.S. and many other countries,” said Greg Wood, Big BAM executive director. “For some, this will be their first time in Missouri. We hope all the towns along the route will be joining in on the fun and welcoming Big BAM riders.”
Watch for bicycles
In addition to welcoming riders, Hood said she also wants to get the word out to motorists to watch for bicyclists traveling along the famous route during the event.
“If there was only one message I could emphasize, it would be to make folks aware that we have riders coming from Lebanon on June 20, and heading out on Route 66 on June 21. The departure time depends largely on weather, but as of now, we expect those riders to be on the road in our area between 6 and 7 a.m. June 21.”
For more information, visit the Pulaski County Tourism website, VisitPulaskiCounty.org and click on the “Big BAM” logo, or call the bureau at 573.336.6355.