Host Communities for BRAN 36 did a spectacular job making the riders welcomed. The traveling home away from home atmosphere prevailed in each and every community.
GRANT, An absolutely wonderful start host community for BRAN. They did it right . . . impressive warm welcome and gracious meeting of the needs for the riders excited to begin their week long trek across the state. The entertainment by the Polka Police, the wide range of food opportunities and a breakfast to send us on our way, led to everyone starting the week with huge smiles on their faces! We were able to say, “Hi” to Fred Jalass, a former BRANimal leader, who stopped by for a few minutes as he was passing through the area.
MPCC/NORTH PLATTE, was an opportunity to stay in a larger community, but situated on the outskirts giving us a smaller town feel. The vendors on site were really a treat, and the Visitor’s Bureau did a wonderful collaboration in getting riders into town and seeing what was available for shopping, site seeing and entertainment. Staying on the grounds of Mid-Plains Community College provided easy camping and parking for staff and families.
BROKEN BOW, really opened their community for BRAN! The school was ready to feed everyone ribs after the 100 mile day in oppressive heat! The community set up a food and beer garden across the street from the school and many, if not most, of the riders took advantage of this opportunity. Kindaider Brewery was on site, as was the Rotary Club, the Arrow Hotel and others. The swimming pool was a hit for many of the riders as was the shade of the trees. The community has invited us all back for their “Broken Bow All Alumni Weekend”.
LOUP CITY, was a gracious host for BRAN’s short day overnight. There was a DJ playing great music and entertaining us with his wit and humor. The organizers also provided a time trial for riders wanting to stretch out their legs and compete against each other. The gym provided a cool haven where bicycle movies ran continuously. BRAN was able to hold a seminar on how a bike ride and route are constructed. This led to a wonderful question and answer session which we will continue as a tradition in the years to come.
CENTRAL CITY had their park, with shade trees and a cool respite available for camping. The welcome tent was there on the grounds to help direct riders to the activities and available amenities which the town had to offer. The movie theater, newly re-opened, was open for riders to sit in a dark cool area with soft seats. The American Legion put on a feed manyh took advantage of. Central City has a major bike/hike trail in the works and currently goes over the Platte and pointed towards Marquette. This trail will also link the recreational areas upstream providing opportunities for bike circuits, bike/canoe/run triathlons and other events.
HUMPHREY, was a first time host, who did it right! Humphrey was voted “BEST HOST COMMUNITY” by the riders. The riders stayed in the city park where trees and picnic shelters provided a cool tenting area and on-site food. Constant shuttles in the form of four wheelers gave rides to showers in the school (which was open for sleeping), to downtown establishments for eating, shopping and liquid refreshments, a beer garden across from the campground, a welcome packet given to each rider and free snow cones were all a hit for the riders. Congratulations on being the recipient to TWO scholarships for your community.
DAVID CITY, has been a host community many times, and they did not fail to provide a great experience again! The alliance and collaboration of all of the churches in the area provided the very best in food on this year’s event; a pot luck dinner where no one could go hungry! The BRAN Staff were able to decompress after our Rider’s Meeting where it was announced the winner of Kelly Smith’s jersey. The winner then asked to start a new tradition and gave the jersey back to raffle off again!
WAHOO/SAUNDERS COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS deserves a special consideration also. The fairgrounds provided a place for the 36th BRAN to end. The concurrent car show/auction added to the excitement and activity level. Omaha Northwest Rotary Club again provided the ending luncheon of Wahoo weinees and walking tacos, a hit for everyone! What a great place to say our goodbyes to our BRAN family until next year.