Once a farm kid always a farm kid


September 13, 2018

Members of Kimball County can begin to look forward to a Bicycle Gravel Race in September of 2019.

Kimball County former resident Jon Heidemann former Professional Cyclist has decided with the help of his wife Anna Lisa to bring a Gravel Race to Kimball County called Rattlesnake Stampede.

Heidemann grew up on his families farm south of Bushnell, and it was all thanks to his father Paul who gave him the love of bicycles.

“I wrecked my car in school and my dad had me ride my bike, thinking I would get home to do chores faster, since I wasn’t in my car, well I guess he was wrong...” said Heidemann. “I left for college on my bicycle and just kept going.”

According to Heidemann, he is no stranger to putting on different bicycle races in the past with 11 down so far. These types of races are becoming larger throughout the mid-west and the western part of the country. A Gravel Race, yes this type of race is just how it sounds, a race on county roads, dirt roads.

Heidemann approached the County Commissioners last Wednesday, September 5, to give a presentation on the ins and outs of this race and what his plans are for the future of this race in Kimball County.

“This race can eventually benefit the local community in many different aspects, there are normally anywhere form two to three thousand people that come from different states to compete in one of these races,” Heidemann said.

Along with the town gaining the extra revenue from travelers stopping for food and gas, Heidemann also wants a local high school group to either volunteer or plan meals for the riders throughout the two days. Heidemann wants this money raised from the meal sales go to an organization like FFA, for example, for what their needs may be at that current time.

This race is actually made up of three different maps, one is a 81 mile race, yes that is correct 81 miles of good ol’ county dirt roads, another is a 39 mile course, and the shortest is a 18 mile race all starting at the Heidemann Farmstead and finishing there as well. Heidemann has hopes that the 18 mile race will bring in competitors from the surrounding local areas.

According to Heidemann the hopes of this race is to have the feel of a festival atmosphere that showcases the local regions industry and family farming operations.

“The majority of these folks that will be coming into town for this event most likely will be making their sleeping arraignments camping at the Heidemann’s Farm,” said Heidemann.

According to Heidemann he stated these races can bring in regional, national and international participants.

“I understand this first year will be an initial test maybe with only 200 or so cyclist involved but I hope within a few years we will grow it to be one of the larger Gravel Races.”

“I hope to have this race as a sort of “kick off to Farmers Day” within the next few years.”

Of course safety is a major precaution for the Kimball County residents as well as the cyclist them selves, Heidemann will be taking all necessary precautions to ensure safety to all.

Yes this event is still in the works but Heidemann along with the Board of Commissioners seem excited about bringing this new exciting event to the area.

Check the Observer in the upcoming year for more information about the project.


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