The first leg of Big Bam was a big success as more than 600 participants stopped at Hamilton Sunday.
Plenty of volunteers helped the Hamilton Area Chamber of Commerce provide hospitalities, such as handing out water and local information as bikers arrived, as well as directing traffic. There were food vendors serving hungry participants. For most of Sunday, you simply couldn’t go anywhere in town without seeing bikers.
Hamilton Area Chamber of Commerce event coordinator Jessica Green says there were no negative incidents to report. “It was a great experience and everyone was so supportive,” she said. “The riders were cheerful, friendly and overall an appreciative group of people!”
Likewise, Scott Falke, owner of Ninja Moose Brewery expressed a similar sentiment, “It was excellent for us. We were packed with a terrific crowd of cheerful and friendly cyclists. We started brewing a month before the event, and are very glad we did. We brought in extra servers so we could keep up with the crowd. Both our taproom and patio were full most of the day from 1:00 to 9:00. Chamber of Commerce here in Hamilton did an excellent job of preparing for Big BAM to arrive…kudos for them. The shuttles from fairgrounds into town made it easy for cyclists to get around; shuttle buses were set up by the chamber of commerce also. In my opinion, as a business owner, the event was spectacular. We put signs out on the route as cyclists came into town with directions to the brewery so they knew where to find us. I have nothing but positive things to say about Big BAM.”
The 300-mile trek began Sunday at St. Joseph and will end later this week at Hannibal. Cyclists average more than 50 miles per day with stops scheduled at Hamilton, Chillicothe, Brookfield, Macon, and Shelbina before concluding at Hannibal.
This is the second year of Big BAM. Last year’s inaugural event began at Rock Port and traveled through Albany before ending at Missouri’s eastern edge. By all accounts, this year’s stopover hosted by Hamilton was a great success. As one volunteer said, “A good time in Hamilton was had by all …especially after they had a chance to shower!”
Photos courtesy of Dennis Cox, with the North Missourian, and Ninja Moose Brewery