May 27 - May 28
The Cottonwood 200 got its name in 1976 when a hearty group of cyclists from the Kaw Valley Bicycle Club were searching for a way to celebrate the nation’s 200th birthday. Looking at their maps, they realized a round trip from Topeka to Cottonwood Falls, Kansas is 200 miles, and covers some of the best cycling in the state. The ride is held every May on Memorial Day weekend and is in its 47th year.
The ride now begins and ends from Council Grove High School (129 Hockaday Street), with different route choices available to riders on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of Memorial Day weekend. Riders can choose to ride all three days or select one or two.
There will be long and short routes and both gravel and paved road options–so bring both your bikes! These routes will cover some of the best cycling terrain in the state, including through the celebrated Flint Hills.
The ride is open to riders of all ages (but those under 18 must have a parent riding, too). The Cottonwood 200 is an excellent way to train for longer rides later in the season (such as BAK), so join us for a great weekend!
There are multiple historic sites to visit in and around Council Grove. The history of the area is diverse. Some of the towns the paved loops will visit include Cottonwood Falls, Strong City, White City, Wilsey, Herington, and Dwight (among others). Paved road riders will also have the opportunity to visit the historic Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.
Gravel loops will include historical sites surrounding the Santa Fe Trail including ghost towns and Santa Fe trail crossings. Most of these places you can only get to on gravel and are not seen from the highway. There will be stops at Allegawaho Heritage Memorial Park (site of the Kaw Indian Reservation), railroad ghost towns, Santa Fe trail ruts and creek crossings, and a ghost town founded by Exodusters in the late 1800s. The gravel routes will also ride through Cottonwood Falls, Strong City, Wilsey, and Allen (among others).
A more detailed description of the routes (mileage, maps, and historic sites to see) will be updated this spring, so stay tuned to the Cottonwood 200 website and Facebook page for additional updates. The current routes posted were planned with the known road construction projects in mind, but changes may be necessary if additional (previously unknown) construction begins. If any changes are made, we will announce it on our Facebook and Instagram accounts and post the new routes here.
The entry fee for the full three days of the 2023 Cottonwood 200 will be $195. However, if you register by April 1, the three-day ride fee is $175. There are also special discounts available to Kaw Valley Bicycle Club members.
If you are unable to complete the full three days, we also have the following options for those riding one or two days:
- Single Day Entry: $70
- Two Day Entry: $140
Registration includes the following:
- Free t-shirt when you register by May 1, 2023
- Fully stocked SAG (rest) stops on each day with food and water
- Sweep vehicles traveling the routes each day, able to assist and transport riders if needed
- Mechanical support for bicycles each day
- Air-conditioned overnight accommodations with hot showers at the Council Grove High School on Friday evening (after 6 pm), Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning. You may sleep inside the high school or camp on the school grounds. The high school will be open to all registered riders and volunteers.
- One catered meal per day (Saturday dinner, Sunday lunch, and Monday lunch)
- Photo slideshows of riders on each day. These photos will be available for free after the ride.
Free t-shirts are included for those who register for the full three days. You will be asked your size when you register on BikeReg.
If you would like an extra t-shirt, or you do not plan to ride the full three days, you can purchase one on BikeReg. T-shirts will be available for pickup at the ride.
The cutoff date for ordering t-shirts is May 1, 2023.
This ride is limited to 300 riders. The Cottonwood 200 website and BikeReg will be updated to note that the ride is CLOSED if the registration exceeds 300. If the website does not have such a posting, then the ride remains OPEN. BikeReg registration closes on May 1, 2023.
If you prefer not to do online registration, you may also mail in your registration form and fees to the address listed below. If you are ordering a t-shirt, remember to mail it in early so that it is received by May 1.
Kaw Valley Bicycle Club
P.O. Box 4474
Topeka, KS 66604
A $20 processing fee will be deducted from all refunds. There are no refunds after May 1, 2023.
More information will be added as we get closer to the event at the Cottonwood 200 website and the Facebook page. Once you are registered, you will receive direct email communications. Please include your email address during registration to ensure delivery of these messages.
Questions? Email us at email@example.com.