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  • Tom Thoma
  • Fri July 08 2016
  • Posted Jul 8, 2016

You know how somebody gets an idea to do something cool? Then somebody else has another idea to add on to that idea? Then … well, you know, things just keep growing.

That’s the story behind Clear Lake’s Bicycle Blues & BBQ festival.

In 2014, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary, race director Tim Putnam explained how it got started.

“Over 10 years ago one-time Clear Lake resident Joe Boatman wanted to bring back the Clear Lake bike race that went one lap around the lake,” he said.

Each year the event has grown to the point where it is now a major bicycle event with blues music and barbecue food as complementary attractions.

As Judy Delperdang wrote in Thursday’s Preview section, there’s little if any down time in this weekend’s festival as organizers hope to keep people coming to Clear Lake City Park to enjoy good barbecue and listen to some outstanding blues, and especially cheer on the racers.

Music starts at 5 p.m. Friday with three bands, followed Saturday by bicycle racing, more blues and a new touch this year — the first brew fest.

As for the bike racers, two Iowa professionals, Clear Lake native Tom Zirbel and Burlington’s Amanda Miller, are returning for the BBQ Omnium Race Weekend.

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