2021 CowaLUNGa Details

CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour raises funds and awareness for Respiratory Health Association. Proceeds from the event benefit RHA’s mission to prevent lung disease, promote clean air, and help people live better through education, research and policy change.

This year, you can choose to ride 18 or 65 miles in one day or 130 miles in two days.

All routes include full SAG and medical support, two daily rest stops, breakfast and dinner, and bus and bike transportation back to the start line at Gurnee Mills in Gurnee, Illinois. Free overnight parking is available onsite at Gurnee Mills for the event’s duration. The day two route will return to Conference Point Center (showers available) for an outdoor meal, lake swimming, trophy ceremony, and return bus ride to Gurnee Mills.

Follow CowaLUNGa on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest on the 2021 ride!

2021 Route Options

The CowaLUNGa routes have been expertly designed using safe, scenic roads with limited traffic. You’ll experience just the right combination of flats and hills to challenge the newer rider and keep the experienced cyclist interested. It’s the view from your saddle that makes the tour so enjoyable. From farms and lakes to small country towns, there is plenty to see. Ride at your own pace, enjoy the tastes of Wisconsin (lunch each day is on your own), and keep an eye out for those cows!

All Cow riders depart as a mass start on Day 1 from the Gurnee Mills parking lot in Gurnee, Illinois, conveniently located just off I-94 — approximately 40 miles north of Chicago.

18 Miles

GURNEE, ILLINOIS TO BRISTOL, WISCONSIN

Saturday, July 31, 2021 | 9:00 a.m. start – 12 p.m. return (approximately)

This is the perfect ride option if you want to be part of CowaLUNGa but are looking for a shorter distance. It’s also a great way to get the entire family involved! See our Child Rider Policy for more information.

Check-in begins at 7:00 a.m. in the Gurnee Mills parking lot. Restrooms are available and you can register your vehicle for free parking for the duration of your ride. Bring your cheering section – family and friends are welcome. After a short program and send-off, all riders depart for Wisconsin at 9:00 a.m. as a mass start. Spectators can enjoy shopping at Gurnee Mills following the send-off.

Please note that CowaLUNGa riders are required to wear helmets at all times on their bikes. NO HELMET, NO RIDE.

The 18 Mile Ride registration includes:

  • Fully supported route (bike, SAG, medical) from start line in Gurnee to finish line at Bristol School in Bristol, Wisconsin
  • Adult and child registration fees and small fundraising requirement
  • Event shirt
  • Finisher’s medal
  • Snacks and drinks at the finish line in Bristol
  • Free parking at Gurnee Mills
  • Bus ride for you and transportation for your bike back to Gurnee, arriving at approximately 12 p.m.

1 Day – 65 Miles

GURNEE, ILLINOIS TO WILLIAM’S BAY, WISCONSIN

Saturday, July 31, 2021 | 9:00 a.m. start – 8:00 p.m. return (approximately)

Cycle approximately 65 miles from Gurnee Mills through fully-supported rest stops in Bristol, Hebron, and into Conference Point Center, located in William’s Bay outside of Lake Geneva.

Check-in begins at 7:00 a.m. in Gurnee Mills Parking Lot J. Indoor restrooms are available and you can register your vehicle for free parking for the duration of your ride. Bring your cheering section – family and friends are welcome! After a short program and send-off, all riders depart for Wisconsin at 9:00 a.m. as a mass start. Spectators can enjoy shopping at Gurnee Mills following the send-off.

Lunch is on your own at one of many recommended restaurants. Plan to stop at Bodi’s Bake Shop in Twin Lakes to purchase a Cow cookie. Once you arrive at Conference Point, you can check-in and turn in your bike to be loaded, then hit the showers, grab a snack, or visit the on-site Ice Cream Shoppe. Dinner will be available from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. and after the Cow Gathering (a short program including the day’s highlights and a medal ceremony), you’ll board the bus to return to Gurnee Mills.

Please note that CowaLUNGa riders are required to wear helmets at all times on their bikes. NO HELMET, NO RIDE.

Advance proof of vaccination is also required if you choose to stay overnight at Conference Point Center.

One Day Ride registration includes:

  • Fully supported route (bike, SAG, medical) from start line in Gurnee to finish line at Conference Point Center in William’s Bay, Wisconsin
  • Single day registration fee and fundraising requirement
  • Event shirt
  • Finisher’s medal
  • Start line snacks, morning and afternoon rest stops with food and beverages,
  • Dinner at Conference Point Center
  • Shower facilities at Conference Point Center
  • Riders are invited to bring their personal bag for transport onto the gear truck.
  • Free parking at Gurnee Mills
  • Bus ride and transportation for your bike back to Gurnee, arriving at approximately 8:00 p.m. on Saturday evening. If you prefer to arrange your own transportation, you can depart as soon as you’ve checked in at Conference Point Center. Personal vehicles are not permitted overnight.

2 Day – 130 Miles

WILLIAMS BAY, WISCONSIN

Saturday, July 31, 2021, 9:00 a.m. start – Sunday, August 1, 2021, 8:30 p.m. return (approximately)

PLEASE NOTE: Advance proof of vaccination is required if you register for the 2 Day ride.
Participants and volunteers who are at least 16 years of age, and wish to participate in or volunteer for Day 2 of the Event are required to have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, except as may otherwise be provided by law.  See section 5 of event waiver for more.

After completing the first day ride (outlined above), dinner is available 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. and is followed by the Cow Gathering, a short program with the day’s highlights and a medal ceremony. Before and after, you’ll have time take a swim in William’s Bay, relax with other riders, enjoy board games, or even make the short walk to town if you’d like to enjoy a little night life. Camp activities will be available that could include volleyball, shuffle board, gathering around the fire pit, movie, etc. You’ll spend the night in Conference Point Center’s cabins.

On your second day, the route opens at 6:45 a.m. and covers approximately 65 miles. The newly designed route will be revealed later this summer but will conclude back at Conference Point Center. Check-in is required at each day’s finish line and you must be off the route by dinner time. The Day Two dinner will be outdoors featuring a trophy ceremony, recognitions, and more.

Please note that CowaLUNGa riders are required to wear helmets at all times on their bikes. NO HELMET, NO RIDE.

Two Day Ride registration includes:

  • Fully supported route (bike, SAG, medical) from start line in Gurnee to finish line at Conference Point Center in Williams Bay, Wisconsin
  • Two day registration fee and fundraising requirement
  • Event shirt
  • Finisher’s medal
  • Start line snacks, morning and afternoon rest stops with food and beverages, dinner on Saturday and Sunday, breakfast on Sunday and outdoor meal at finish line
  • Shower facilities at Conference Point Center
  • Riders are invited to bring their personal bag for transport onto the gear truck. Rider’s bags will be available each day upon check in
  • Overnight accommodations (choose indoor or outdoor) at Conference Point Center
  • Free parking at Gurnee Mills
  • Bus ride and transportation for your bike back to Gurnee, arriving at approximately 8:30 p.m. Sunday evening. If you prefer to arrange your own transportation, you can depart as soon as you’ve checked in at Conference Point Center

Virtual Ride

Have a conflict with CowaLUNGa or an injury that keeps you from riding this year? You don’t have to lose a year toward your next Cow trophy and can still have an impact on RHA’s efforts to help people living with asthma, COPD, lung cancer and other lung diseases. Register as a Cow Virtual Rider!

Virtual Rider Benefits

As a registered Cow Virtual Rider, you’ll receive:

  • The official Cow event t-shirt
  • A keepsake Fanny Flag
  • The Cow finisher’s medal

These items will be mailed to you 2 – 3 weeks after the Cow event.

Ride (or Don’t) for Healthy Lungs and Clean Air

If you’re able, make training a motivational part of the virtual experience and log 18, 65, 130 or 190 miles on your own. However, there is no requirement to prove you’ve even gotten on your bike. Your key role as a Virtual Rider is making a difference through fundraising.

Share with your network that you’re committed to supporting RHA’s mission even though you aren’t able to be at the Cow event. You’ll have full access to the RHA Fundraising Toolkit and be able to create a personal fundraising page to help with your efforts. You’ll receive the Cow event emails full of great fundraising tips and encouragement.

Prior to the CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour dates, registered Virtual Riders will be entered in the Cow fundraising contests when all specific requirements are met. You can also qualify for the Cow incentive prizes based on your fundraising efforts, including the coveted Cow Lung Health Champion jersey (in addition to the event performance shirt) at the $1,000 level.

Costs & Deadlines

Each route option’s early bird discounts, regular registration fees, and fundraising minimums for the 2021 ride are listed below. Please note that early bird fees have been extended from June 4 to June 15. There is no day-of registration options available for any of the route options.

18 Mile Ride | $30 (early bird) | $35 (after June 15) | $30 fundraising minimum

1 Day Ride | $65 (early bird) | $85 (after June 15) | $175 fundraising minimum

2 Day Ride | $225 (early bird) | $250 (after June 15) | $425 fundraising minimum

2 Day Ride First-time Rider Discount (50% off) | $112.50 (early bird) | $125 (after June 15) | $425 fundraising minimum

Virtual Ride | $15 (early bird) | $20 (after June 15) | No fundraising minimum

All CowaLUNGa fees and donations are non-refundable and non-transferable. Please note: If your fundraising minimum has not been met by the fundraising deadline, the credit card number provided at the time of registration will be charged any remaining balance to honor your commitment. Fundraising coaches will be assigned to each rider to assist with fundraising support, provide tools, and one-on-one coaching if requested.

*Lung Health Champions

Commit to raising a minimum of $1,000 and receive benefits including a custom commemorative CowaLUNGa Voler cycling jersey. Learn more about becoming a Lung Health Champion.

**First-Time Rider Discount

To qualify for this discount, you must be a new rider and have never ridden the CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour before. Discount is only available for the Two Day ride option and only applies to registration fees. Fundraising is required. To get a coupon code for this discount, call 312-628-0200 or email us.

***Virtual Riders

Have a conflict with CowaLUNGa 2021 or an injury that keeps you from riding? You don’t have to miss out on a year toward your Cow trophy and can still have an impact on RHA’s efforts to help people living with asthma, COPD, lung cancer, and other lung diseases. Register as a Cow Virtual Rider!

DEADLINES

▪ Early bird registration fees end June 4. There are no extensions or exceptions after that date.

▪ Team members must register three weeks in advance of the ride to be counted toward the CowaLUNGa Largest Team trophy. Team members may still register after that date but will not be considered in the trophy calculation.

▪ Online registration closes approximately 24 hours before the ride begins. After that time, call (312) 628-0210 to check availability as last minute cancellations may create open spots to participate. There is no day-of-event onsite registration.

▪ The fundraising deadline is August 20, 2021. All registered riders are required to fundraise, whether or not you are able complete the ride. Please note: if your fundraising minimum has not been met by the fundraising deadline, the credit card number provided at the time of registration will be charged any remaining balance to honor your commitment. If the credit card information is not current when we charge, you will be notified to provide a valid credit card number.

Interested in experiencing CowaLUNGa but not able to ride? Join the CowaLUNGa volunteer crew! Email Grizelda at [email protected] to learn more.

For more than two decades, we have been committed to keeping CowaLUNGa accessible for all our riders. We have kept registration fees as low as possible by securing community rest stops and overnight venues with reasonable expenses. We work to secure donated snacks and supplies, recruit wonderful volunteers, and receive financial and in-kind sponsorships. Due to increasing costs of housing, transportation, and food and beverage, we have implemented a registration fee increase, and have increased the fundraising requirement. All funds will support Respiratory Health Association’s (RHA) lung health and clean air programs. Fundraising commitments will not be due until August 20.

Rider Safety

Your safety is important. In planning the 2021 ride, we continue to follow the latest local, state, and federal public health guidelines around COVID-19. According to updated CDC guidance, outdoor activities including riding, eating, or drinking outdoors are generally safe without a mask (especially if you are COVID-19 vaccinated). Masks may be required at other times and venues TBD. Additionally, anyone who stays overnight must provide advance proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

PLEASE NOTE: Bandanas, face gaiters, and shields may not be substituted for masks.

Additional ride safety guidelines:

  • All CowaLUNGa riders are required to wear secured bicycle helmets while on their bikes. NO HELMET, NO RIDE.
  • Please obey all traffic laws at all times.
  • Ride within your ability and physical condition.
  • Carry personal identification.
  • Bring a bike in good condition, with a spare tube, basic tools (optional), a water bottle, sunscreen, etc. (see the CowaLUNGa Packing List for additional suggestions).
  • The routes are on public roads which must be shared with motorists. Local Illinois and Wisconsin law enforcement authorities may patrol the roads and may issue citations for traffic violations.
  • Personal SAG vehicles are not permitted on the route. Please understand our need to reduce vehicular traffic for your safety. We provide SAG vehicles and full route support.
  • RHA reserves the right to have individuals removed from the ride.

Need information on bike safety and bike laws? Visit Ride Illinois and take their Bike Safety Quiz. You can find Wisconsin’s bike laws here.

Ride as a Team

Riding CowaLUNGa as part of a team is fun, motivational, and a great way to meet other riders. First-timers have enjoyed being part of Team CowaLUNGa or forming their own teams with family and friends. Corporate teams are a great way to build camaraderie among your co-workers. In all cases, team jerseys are encouraged.

Each year the team with the most members is recognized at the CowaLUNGa start line and receives the coveted Largest Team trophy.

Learn more about joining Team CowaLUNGa or forming a team of your own.

Be a Lung Health Champion!

Receive exclusive benefits, including a Voler cycling jersey designed specially for CowaLUNGa, when you agree to raise $1,000 as a Lung Health Champion.

Your efforts support Respiratory Health Association’s work to prevent lung disease,  promote clean air, and fund research to help people live well.

Any CowaLUNGa rider can be a Lung Health Champion. The standard registration fee applies and is due at the time of registration.

Learn more about the benefits of being an LHC here.

Training Support

Need some help getting into CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour cycling shape? Do you want to invite someone to join you on the tour who’s new to cycling and needs practice? Multiple training opportunities are available to help you prepare and be ready for a great CowaLUNGa ride.

Review our safety tips so you can enjoy every second of your ride. Riders are required to wear their own, secured helmets at all times while on their bikes. NO HELMET, NO RIDE.

Interested in a CowaLUNGa training ride?

Join veteran CowaLUNGa cyclists for training rides and meet fellow tour riders.

Training rides are designed to support all riders in a group ride setting, to have camaraderie, get a feel for longer rides, introduce new riders to others riders, inquire about what to expect during Cow weekend, and so much more…like ice cream!

All Rider Levels Welcome! Training Rides

Led by 10 year+ riders: Bill Busse and Lung Health Champion Crystal Knight of Team Knight Riders

Contact Bill for additional details and exchange cell #’s prior to training ride day [email protected]

Saturday, June 19, 8am start

50-mile ride, approx. out and back: Richmond through Lake Geneva, Richmond School meet up

Sunday, June 27, 8am start

50-mile ride approx. out and back: The ride will start at Spring Grove Elementary School, 2018 Main Street, Spring Grove, IL 60081.

Sunday, July 18, 8 am start

50-mile ride, approx. out and back: Richmond through Lake Geneva, Richmond School meet up.

Sunday, July 25, 8am start

50-mile ride approx. out and back: The ride will start at Spring Grove Elementary School, 2018 Main Street, Spring Grove, IL 60081.

 

Led by Lung Health Champion and 17-year veteran rider and team captain of Team CowaLUNGa, Laura Mazzenga.  Contact Laura for additional details and to exchange cell numbers prior to training day. [email protected] or 312-315-0463.

Sunday, July 11, 8am start
31-mile ride, slow pace. Meet at Richmond Elementary School, Richmond, IL at Rt. 173.
Ride route will include Nippersink Lake and Powers Lake.

Sunday, July 25, 8am start 
30-mile ride, near famous Super Dawg drive-in restaurant at Milwaukee and Devon Streets.
Park and meet at Milwaukee/Devon Forest Preserve, East Entrance on Devon St.

We will share additional information about training rides as they are scheduled.

Smoke-Free Event

CowaLUNGa is an entirely smoke-free event. You may not use any tobacco products, e-cigarettes, or vape products during the event including but not limited to rest stops, public places, housing accommodations, and anywhere affiliated with CowaLUNGa. Anyone engaged in tobacco use or activity may be immediately removed from the event. Yes, we are serious.

Fundraising Support

As a charity ride, RHA wants to make your CowaLUNGa fundraising easy. Explore our resources to help you reach and even surpass your fundraising goal.

Ready to ride? Sign up for Cow emails.

You’ll receive occasional event updates throughout the year and alerts when registration for the CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour opens.

Still can’t find what you need? Explore our list of frequently asked questions. You can also contact Gina Schwieger, Senior Director of Special Events, via email at [email protected] or call (312) 628-0210.