Biking for food & beverages

THE TOUR DE Ripon, which is organized by Advance Physical Therapy, rewards bicyclists for pedaling to local businesses. submitted photo

by Joe Schulz

Twenty-one local businesses are coming together to reward physical fitness all summer.

The second annual Tour de Ripon is an event being put on by Advanced Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine in Ripon. Cost is $10 to participate in the event and participants will receive a Tour de Ripon shirt and a list of local businesses after paying.

To win the prize, they must bike to the business wearing their Tour de Ripon shirt. Once the prize is collected, a box is checked on the back of a rider’s shirt and each box can only be checked once.

The event began June 1 and runs through Saturday, Aug. 31, enabling participants to get to each business at points throughout the summer.

Advance Physical Therapy Clinic Director P.J. Christopherson noted the biggest change between this year’s Tour de Ripon and last year’s event is that participants may register for the event all summer, whereas last year participants had a registration deadline of early June.

“We’ve gotten a lot more community support this year, so we’re hoping that the participation increases,” Christopherson said.

Another change is that last year’s Tour de Ripon didn’t have any alcoholic prizes, while this year’s tour does.

“This year, people give me feedback, and they said, ‘Hey, we want more of those types of things on the list,’” Christopherson said. “So, this year we included them, but there is a family-friendly option for any place that does offer a beer. There’s always a non-alcoholic option.”

Advanced Physical Therapy has locations all over the state, but the Tour de Ripon is exclusive to only the area.

“It made sense to, as a physical therapy place, encourage people to be physically active by having a bike event,” Christopherson said. “We’ve only been in Ripon for three years or so. We’re not making any money off of [the event]. It’s more to let people know that we’re here and kind of to promote ourselves; in addition to, obviously, being something really cool for the community, too.”

Christopherson added the event benefits the community by getting people physically active and by helping to promote local business.

“I really tried to stay away from more of the corporate chains,” he said. “I really encouraged having local coffee houses and breweries.”

The event also is kind of open ended on purpose.

“A lot of the 5k runs or bike races, they’re just one day,” he said. “This is … maybe if you’re in town on that day you can participate; this is at your leisure. So, you get done with work early one day and you want to bike to a place in Ripon, you get a get a free appetizer.”

Because the event costs $10, Christopherson noted participants can make their money back in three prizes if they stop at only three places.

For more information on the Tour de Ripon, call Advanced Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine in Ripon at 920-896-0430.