The Cottonwood 200 bike ride is a three-day ride held over Memorial Day weekend and is open to riders of all ages (under 18 must have a parent riding, too). It begins on Saturday with approximately 75 miles from Topeka to Council Grove. On Sunday the 50-mile ride is from Council Grove to Cottonwood Falls and back, and on Monday the final 75-mile ride is from Council Grove back to Topeka, for a total of 200 miles.
The ride route travels through lands that were the home of the Kaw Nation (also known as the Kansa Indians) for whom the state of Kansas is named. Parts of the ride route follow the original Santa Fe Trail.
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 terrain in the state.
The 44th Cottonwood 200 will take place on May 23, 24 and 25, 2020.