New this year will be an option to head over to the Lincoln Park Neighborhood for a visit to the Betsy and Tacy houses, the real-live dwellings of Maud Hart Lovelace and her best friend, which have been restored to their original charm by the Betsy-Tacy Society of Mankato. Betsy-Tacy Society members will be on hand to give tours and answer questions any riders may have.
The Betsy and Tacy detour was added because of feedback River Ramble coordinators got from last year's riders. When asked in a survey if they'd like to have that included in the ride, many riders enthusiastically said yes.
Success for the River Ramble — they had about 1,200 riders the first year, 1,600 the second — allowed the group to be generous with groups with missions that mirror their own.
They paid for six map kiosks around area trails, helped cover the cost of a well to be dug near the community gardens along the Red Jacket Trail near Mount Kato, helped fund Bike and Walk to School day last spring and have given money to Mankato area Mountain Bikers in their efforts to rehabilitate what used to be a dog park pen into mountain biking trails.
The group still needs volunteers. As of this week they had 60 volunteers and figure they'll need about 110. Volunteers handle everything from registration, feeding riders, and serving as course and road marshals.
If you go What Mankato River Ramble, a bike ride around the Mankato area When Oct. 6. Check in begins at 8 a.m. and riders can begin by 8:15 a.m. All riders must be on the trail by 10:15 a.m. Where Ride begins and ends in Land of Memories Park Cost Registration is required by Oct. 1 and is $32 for adults and $10 for kids. Helmets are required.