SIOUX CENTER – Bert Van Batavia loves riding open country roads or trails on his bicycle.
The 72-year-old man who farms between Hull and Boyden logs 50-60 miles in a typical week during the bicycling season.
|Bert Van Batavia, 72, who farms between Hull|
and Boyden, plans to ride again in Promise
Community Health Center's Wellness on Wheels
Bicycle Ride on Saturday, June 4. He has ridden
almost every year of the six-year event.
He said you can see – and smell – so much more from a bicycle. He loves seeing the straight rows of corn, even the crooked ones. He enjoys the view of farm buildings and the scenery of rivers and rolling hills. He doesn’t even mind the wafting smell of a hog barn or cattleyard every once in awhile – this is Iowa, after all.
And it’s a perfect time for him to reflect.
“My thoughts are all to myself. I can almost even decide whom to vote for in the next election,” Van Batavia said with a chuckle. “That’s what I like.”
He also rides bicycle for the cardiovascular health benefit.
“I like the exercise. I like staying in shape,” said Van Batavia, who also jogs. “I’m a guy who likes to work up a sweat a little bit, and I can do that by biking. I’m a casual rider by many people’s standard, but I keep moving. It’s healthy. It’s very healthy.”
Van Batavia got started into bicycling about 13 years ago through the encouragement of a friend, and they often rode together until the friend moved away a few years ago.
|Bert Van Batavia, 72, goes for a bicycle ride on the|
Sioux Center Trail. He typically logs 50-60 miles
per week on his bicycle during the riding season.
He plans to ride in the sixth annual Wellness on
Wheels Bicycle Ride (WOW6) on Saturday, June 4.
He now goes out to ride about three times per week for 15-20 miles per trip – depending on where he goes. A couple of his favorite routes are riding the blacktop between Highway 18 and Orange City and carving out a 15-mile trek on Sioux Center Trail sections.
Van Batavia, who rides his trusty Giant bicycle that he purchased several years ago at Brothers Bicycle Shop in Sioux Center, has ridden The Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) partway three times. He also has done fundraising bicycle rides in the Iowa Great Lakes area a few times.
But he particularly enjoys Promise Community Health Center’s annual Wellness on Wheels Bicycle Ride and plans to ride WOW6 on Saturday, June 4. He will pedal the 30-mile route, which will start at Children’s Park in Sioux Center and will travel the Sioux County countryside to Ireton and back. Four routes, ranging from 6 to 60 miles, are offered for the event.
“I like the fellowship,” he said. “It’s fun. The more people, the more fun it is. Starting out with everyone is always fun. I’ll pass people, and they’ll pass you up. Afterward, we get a little bite to eat and just sit there and fellowship.”
He also appreciates supporting Promise by participating in the ride.
“I like to ride in events that are for a fundraiser,” he said. “I think Promise Community is a good cause.”
Promise Community Health Center, headquartered in Sioux Center, is the only Federally Qualified Health Center in the far northwest corner of Iowa. Promise provides medical, prenatal, dental, vision and behavioral health services. To learn more, visit www.promisechc.org and watch this video. To read more Promise news, visit promisechcnews.blogspot.com.
ABOUT THE WOW6 RIDE:
The sixth annual Wellness on Wheels Bicycle Ride (WOW6) in northwest Iowa will be Saturday, June 4, during the Sioux Center Summer Celebration festival and the community’s 125th anniversary celebration.
Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center puts on the event every year with the help of many great business sponsors.
This year’s event will feature four routes for various riding levels and interests that will start at Children’s Park in Sioux Center and travel through beautiful Sioux County: a 60-mile paved route that will pass through Hawarden and Ireton, a 30-mile paved route to Ireton and back, a 6-mile Fun Ride on the Sioux Center Trail to Sandy Hollow Recreation Area and back, and an all-new 30-mile gravel route that will make a big loop intersecting with Ireton. The 60-mile ride starts at 7 a.m., the 30-mile routes at 8 a.m. and the 6-mile Fun Ride at 9 a.m. – with registration starting 30 minutes before each ride. WOW6 will include a complimentary polyester, moisture-wicking T-shirt; a Casey’s breakfast pizza meal; and prize giveaways.
Registrations will be taken up until the start of the event, including walk-ups, but advance registrations are encouraged. To register online, visit www.AllSportCentral.com. Click here for a paper registration form. For more information, visit www.promisechc.org or call 712-722-1700.
To read a preview story about the event, click here.