Rich and Susan Rodenburg owned Bike Pedalers Bike Shop in midtown Lincoln in the mid 1980's.
They recall stories of customers that were continually disappointed about how they couldn't take part in the already well established "Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska" also known as BRAN, because the BRAN tour always sold out early.
The Rodenburgs put an end to that problem when they created "Tour de Nebraska" in 1988. Susan says, "It was kind of a wild notion that ended up having some legs to it."
Susan has seen Tour de Nebraska come along way since the beginning, "The first year in 1988, we had 10 people sign up and then it doubled every year and caught on and now we limit our ride to about 250 people."
And while the biking is fun, her interactions with her fellow bikers is what makes it all worthwhile, "This is the type of camaraderie I enjoy. It's the whole reason we do the Tour de Nebraska. We have a different group of people every year but we have so many people come back year after year. We share an adventure. We share a spirit and we just become bonded by the process...It's so much fun."
This June, Erik Anderson will be riding in his 13th Tour de Nebraska, "It's a great way to see the countryside. Out in western Nebraska there'll be times you're out on the highway when all it is is you and the meadowlarks. Sometimes you'll be out on a stretch where you'll be the only biker in sight, then around the bend you'll see someone else."
David hill got hooked on Tour de Nebraska 8 years ago, "I've loved it since the first year I did it. I thought this was really cool to get out and see Nebraska."
The 27th annual "Tour de Nebraska" will take place between June 18th and the 22nd, 2014.
Bikers will ride 271 miles over the course of five days --- and they will start in Pender and ride through Ponca, Crofton, Verdigre and Pierce.
Susan says there are still a few open spots, so if you're interested, go to www.tourdenebraska.com