Whether you know it or not this is the year for Missouri's Bicentennial. One of the many events planned for the year is a Bicentennial Ride.

Missouri State Parks invites avid cyclists to participate in a century ride on the Katy Trail on Saturday, Aug. 7.

According to a press release from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the Bicentennial Ride combines two century rides, 100 miles each, for a unique way to start the Missouri bicentennial commemoration.

One group of 100 cyclists will leave St. Charles and ride to North Jefferson Trailhead in Jefferson City. Another group of 100 cyclists will depart from Windsor and ride to North Jefferson Trailhead in Jefferson City. After both groups have arrived and set up camp in that location in Jefferson City, they will have the opportunity to see and hear live music at Jefferson Landing State Historic Site and enjoy dinner in downtown Jefferson City.

This is a limited event as only 100 riders from each direction will be included. Registration for the event opens at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, May 20 and closes on Thursday, July 1, or until the 100 participants per direction limit is reached.

The cost of the registration fee is $200. The fee includes breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, lunch on Saturday, optional outdoor camping spaces on Friday and Saturday nights, hot shower facilities, gear shuttle, detailed route map, SAG support stops, a bicentennial ride t-shirt, bicentennial water bottle, commemorative item and Katy Trail 30th anniversary bike jersey.

For more information about the ride or to register, visit mostateparks.com, email katytrailride@dnr.mo.gov or call Missouri State Parks toll free at 800-334-6946.

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Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

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