Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the ride being presented by the Zearing Child Enrichment Center?
The Z Tour Bike Ride is now in its seventh year and came about as a result of the Center looking for a new idea in fundraising. The volunteers who organize the event are mostly cycling enthusiast and have participated in several organized rides throughout the Midwest. The Z Tour Bike Ride hopes to promote the City of Princeton, Illinois, bicycling as a safe, recreational activity, and also the services offered at the Zearing Child Enrichment Center (ZCEC). Proceeds generated from the ride support the not-for-profit ZCEC. Please visit the ZCEC website at www.zcec.org to learn more about the Center.
Are you selling T-shirts and socks for the Z Tour?
Yes! Dri-fit t-shirts and socks are sold separately. If you pre-register for the ride and want to buy a shirt or a pair of socks, note that each shirt costs $20 and the cycling socks are $12. Shirts and socks will be available the day of the ride, but we urge you to pre-order because there will be limited numbers available the day of the ride. We are also excited to be offering a newly designed bike jersey from Mt. Borah. Click on the merchandise tab for more information or to place your order through Eventbrite. Your debit card or charge card will be billed through Eventbrite.
Is there a discount if you register early? How much does it cost to ride? Is there a family discount?
If you pre-register by June 16, the cost for a single rider is $30. From June 17 through July 12, the cost is $35. Our on-line registration through Eventbrite closes on July 12. After July 12, we only accept paper registration and the cost is $40. We do not have a family rate, however; all minor children under the age of 12 can ride for FREE when riding with a registered adult. Minors can be registered on the day of the ride. Everyone must sign a waiver, wear a helmet, and observe all traffic laws.
Is this a family oriented ride?
You bet it is! That's why we have five different routes ranging from 10 to 100 miles. This 10 mile route is perfect for beginners or families with younger children wanting to ride at a leisure pace. The more experienced riders can go at their own pace on the 30, 50, 62 or 100 mile routes. Riders on the longer routes can start as early as 6:00 a.m. All riders must be on the road by 9:00 a.m. Just remember to be back to Zearing Park no later than 3:00 p.m. to enjoy your post-ride meal. This is a ride not a race and there is a route for everyone!
How are the roads marked?
We use a white biodegradable paint and incorporate the Dan Henry Marking System on all routes. Our "route-masters" goes to great lengths to ensure that our routes are well marked and safe for the riders. Route maps and cue sheets are available on routes link and at registration on the day of the ride.
How difficult are the Z Tour routes?
All routes are on flat to rolling countryside, well within the range of most cyclists. The 10 mile route is fairly flat and the 30 mile route has considerably less elevation than last year. As you go south and east of Zearing Park, you will see more changes in elevation. On the longer routes, there definitely are some challenging hills that will test even the experienced riders.
Is it safe to ride on these roads?
Yes. For the most part, the routes take lightly traveled, paved roads, and the few motorists that you encounter are courteous. We will have members of the Princeton Police Department and the Bureau County Sheriff's Office monitor intersections that might be considered high traffic. If you follow Illinois bicycling laws, which require you to ride single-file when there is traffic and which require you to ride no more than two abreast at other times, then you should have few problems, if any, with motorists. For more details about Illinois cycling laws, visit the League of Illinois Bicyclists.
Where can I spend the night if I'm coming in from out of town?
The Princeton area has a handful of places to spend the night prior to the ride. For a listing of nearby motels, bed and breakfast establishments and RV friendly overnight camping options, see our Princeton Chamber of Commerce Lodging Information page.
Will the ride go on in the rain?
Unfortunately, yes. It would be very difficult to get the word out about a change of plans and find an alternative date.
What if I can't finish the ride?
You should be able to finish because we provide adequate food and water at rest stops and because of our support vehicles on the routes. Be advised that we do not fix or repair bikes, but we will transport you and your bike back to Zearing Park. SAG support will end at 3 p.m. Pre-ride support will be offered at Zearing Park by Bike Works (Peru). Be sure and stop by their trailer prior to the ride.
What if I have more questions?
Send an email to email@example.com and we'll answer your questions promptly. You can also call the Center at 815-875-2335 or Brian Church, Z Tour Bike Ride Coordinator at 815-878-5054. You can also like our Facebook page at Z Tour Bike Ride for updates.