NEW! Can I ride an electric bike?

With the growing popularity of electric bikes, we are happy to announce e-bikes are now allowed at CowaLUNGa.

E-bike riders will be responsible for locating powers sources along the route, at rest stops, chosen lunch locations, and overnight accommodations.

If you need e-bike or rider transport during the ride, event organizers should still be able to accommodate your request – depending on the size of your bike.

As we recommend for all riders, you should bring a reliable bike lock for times throughout the event you may need it.

How will you protect riders from COVID-19?

Our health and safety policies below have changed based on improvements in COVID-19 positivity rates, increased vaccination rates, and decreases in hospitalizations. We prioritize the safety of all participants and will continue to monitor and follow guidance from Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH). This includes any restrictions on the size of in-person gatherings.

  • Masks: RHA will follow any local, state, federal, or venue protocols required at the time of the event. There is currently no mask requirement for outdoor events, and they will not be required. Participants, volunteers, staff, and guests are encouraged to wear a mask in areas at the event where large numbers of people gather – such as the start line, dinner, etc.
  • Vaccinations: 2 and 3-day riders who are at least 16 years of age and volunteers are required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. While the 2022 event will not require 18-mile and 1-day riders to provide proof of vaccination, we strongly encourage all participants to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, we recommend all participants take a Covid test within 72 hours of the event and do not participate in case of a positive test or if they continue to show symptoms.
  • Social distancing: Social distancing guidelines will be encouraged throughout the event.
  • Event participants, volunteers, and vendors who may be experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, or who have recently been in contact with a person experiencing symptoms, are asked not to attend the event.

 

What happens if I get a flat tire? Will I have to carry my bike to the nearest rest stop?

One of the many services offered along the route is bicycle support. Our mobile bike shops, Never Ending Cycles and Wheel & Sprocket, are available to address any repair problems you may encounter. Should you require help while on the route, use a ‘thumbs down’ signal to let an approaching repair van know you need help. However, carrying spare tubes and a pump and knowing how to change a flat is recommended. Changing tires and simple repairs are complimentary. Parts and more complex repairs will be assessed by each bike shop and charged to the rider.

Do I need to check-in when I’m done riding each day?

Yes. This is mandatory and VERY IMPORTANT. The check-in procedure is done for several reasons. First, this is how we know that you have made it safely to the end of the day and how we keep track of everyone. Second, you must check-in to receive your room assignments for the night. Third, you must check-in to receive the next day’s cue sheet. Although it’s tempting to relax after you’ve made it to the end of each day, you must check-in before you do so.

How much time do I have each day to complete the ride?

Although it’s not a race, there are hours in which you must finish the ride each day. These hours will be printed on your itinerary and your cue sheets, which are available at check-in on the first day of the ride. Ride hours are roughly from the opening time of breakfast until the middle of dinner hours. This is plenty of time to complete your daily ride in a leisurely fashion. If you leave before ride hours begin or finish after ride hours end, support services will not be available.

What happens if there is an emergency?

Our mobile volunteer medical team patrols the route and will be contacted in the event of an emergency. They will also be available before and after ride hours at our overnight sites. For non-medical emergencies, SAG vehicles are regularly patrolling the route as well and can provide help. If necessary, we will alert riders of information via text message, social media, email and on the ride at rest stops, sites and on the route.

What if it rains during the tour?

The event does go on, rain or shine. Though we generally experience great riding weather, it’s still summer in the Midwest. Be sure to bring rain gear just in case – check your list of things to pack for more information.  In cases of severe weather conditions (lightning, excessive heat) the event may be delayed and/or portions of the route may be closed. Potential weather issues will be communicated to all participants.

Am I out on the route alone all day?

No. Volunteers patrol the route in support and gear (SAG) vans during official ride hours. These volunteers are there to make sure everything is going well on the route. They can assist if you are in need of help. Use the “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” signal to let them know they are needed.

In addition, there will be two mobile bike shops and a mobile volunteer medical team available.

You can flag down any CowaLUNGa vehicle if you are in need of services, because all official CowaLUNGa vehicles can communicate with each other and can call for the appropriate help.

How do I find my way on the route?

When you check in at the start line on the first day of the event, you will receive a “cue sheet” for that day’s route. Cue sheets have line-by-line instructions of every road and turn along the route plus mileage information.

Along the route, pink directional arrows are painted on the pavement and CowaLUNGa signs are placed for additional guidance. You will see an example of these arrows and signs at the start line check-in.

Each night when you check in at the overnight location, you will receive a cue sheet for the next day’s route.

Where do I keep my bike overnight?

Riders are allowed to keep their bikes in their cabins at Conference Point Center. At University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, bikes will be locked up overnight at the university’s tennis courts. However, your own bike lock should be packed for stops and safety along the way.