Rockton is hosting the 44th riding of the Blackhawk Bicycle & Ski Club Invitational


Photo: Blackhawk Bicycle & Ski Club

Memorial Day Weekend 2022 is upon us. If you're driving around the Rockton/Roscoe area this Saturday or Sunday, you might notice lots of bike riders. It’s the 44th year of the Blackhawk Bicycle & Ski Club Invitational Fundraiser. Every Memorial Day weekend for the last 15 years, cyclists have started the family-friendly 10-mile, 30-mile, 45-mile or 62-mile ride. They ride the country roads of Winnebago County in Illinois and Rock County in Wisconsin. The three shorter rides have two rest areas to get refueled and have fellowship with other riders.

All the rides begin at the Greater Rockton Center, 302 West Main Street. The group of riders who take on the 62-mile ride will start around 7:00 a.m. All other riders will be on the road by 10:00 a.m. so everyone arrives back at the Greater Rockton Center before 3:00 p.m. Once the rides are completed, they get a pasta dinner at the Greater Rockton Center.

A portion of all fundraising dollars earned from the Blackhawk Bicycle & Ski Club Fundraiser goes toward two important organizations to help with the safety of all bike riders. The 2 organizations are Ride Illinois and the League of American Bicyclists. Both work to increase the safety for all riders by working to increase the space given to riders along roadways. This fundraiser is the largest of the year for the club and helps offset other costs for events that are also family-friendly. 

 Riders come from all parts of Wisconsin and Illinois. Some riders come from the suburbs of Chicago to ride through the beautiful backroads of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Over the last few years, the Club has seen more riders who use three-wheeled and electric bikes. The club does strongly suggest and ask that all riders wear helmets during the ride for everyone's safety.

The Blackhawk Bicycle & Ski Club is always looking for more riders and families to join. They have rides daily throughout the warmer months and have a motto of “Nobody gets left behind.”

The concept of the bicycle club grew out of some casual meetings in 1973 of a few bicycle enthusiasts in and around the Rock County and Rockford areas.

Photos provided by the Blackhawk Bicycle & Ski Club.

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