May 2023 Trails Talk


Group of bikersSeventy-seven Spirit Lake 4th graders, with 26 family members helping along the way, spent the last day of school on May 19 participating in the 9th annual BRAWL (Bike Ride Along West Lake).

Spirit Lake PE teacher and ride organizer Tim O’Hagan explained what the day entails and how special it is to him and the students. “Dylan Titterington provided the semi-truck for the first time this year and
despite me telling him not to lift a finger, there he was loading and unloading bikes every chance he had. We really couldn’t do it without him. The Spirit Lake PIE program is so helpful in providing snacks and lunch for the two rest stations. Matt Fairchild from Lakeside lab provided their facility and always sets up/tears down that station for us.

“Shawn Olsen, John Maris, Ryan Maris & Mark Dykema are the ‘Tandem Team’. They’re like
superheroes to our mission. The four of them have always been there to provide a tandem ride for those students who just haven’t learned to ride yet. On that day those students get to feel the wind hit their faces and memories are made right along with their classmates.”

O’Hagan went on to say, “Nine years ago I walked into, then principal, Terry Butler’s office and said, ‘Hear me out. I’ve got a big dream for an end of the year bike challenge and I’d like your support’. Without hesitation he said, ‘Do it’. With continued administrative, educational and community support I am proud to say we will do our 10th BRAWL next spring. Every year the students rise to the occasion and are so proud of their ability and efforts. As traditions go, I ride in with the final riders and every year those students write such a beautiful chapter to our end of the year story.”

The ride features three routes ranging from 8.5-12.5 miles and it is an excellent opportunity to teach the students about bike safety and the joy of our local trails.  Thank you to all of the volunteers that make this great event a reality including Iowa Lakeside Lab and First Lutheran Church for hosting the student riders and Dylan Titterington for hauling all of the bikes to and from the event.


Lakes Area Museum Alliance1st ANNUAL MUSEUM ALLIANCE RIDE: Saturday, June 10 – Lakes Area museums are kicking off their new alliance with a museum ride along the trails. All thirteen Dickinson County museums will be open from 10:00am – 4:00pm for people to walk, bike or drive to. Informational brochures with a trail map will be available at each museum and the Iowa Rock ’n Roll Music Association on Friday, June 9 and 10am on Saturday, June 10. Visit the IRRMA Facebook page for event details.



uofo campus39TH ANNUAL U of O CAMPUS BIKE RIDE:  Saturday, June 24 – Enjoy a ride around the Iowa Great Lakes of 25, 50 or 100 miles. A pancake breakfast starts at 7:00am with ride to follow at 9:00am. Take in the beauty of scenic trails and lakeside roads on your bicycle with proceeds going to help the community and trails system. Visit the Campus Ride’s Facebook page for ride details.




BRASL 2023 Trails FestivalBRASL – BIKE RIDE AROUND SPIRIT LAKE:  Saturday, July 8 – Enjoy a 15-mile bike cruise around Iowa’s largest natural lake or power bike new 25 and 50-mile routes around the Iowa Great Lakes.  This is a family friendly ride that treats you to scenic lakeside trails and includes a t-shirt and lunch certificate. Proceeds from the event will benefit Dickinson County Trails. Visit for ride details and registration.




Bikes Brews Bites 2023DCTB 2023 SUMMER FUNDRAISER: Friday, July 21 – Plans are coming together for the 2023 “Bikes – Brews – Bites” trails celebration that will take place at the Maser Monarch Lodge by the Dickinson County Nature Center. There will be a variety of brews, wine and a bourbon tasting along with live music and a fantastic menu provided by Back Alley BBQ. Keep an eye out for information on sponsorship opportunities and tickets that will be available soon through the DCTB’s website and Facebook pages. For more information, please contact us at or visit our website at .

As always, Happy Trails to You and Yours.
Erin Reed, DCTB Executive Director