DONIPHAN — On a normal Wednesday morning in the middle of June, the Doniphan-Trumbull School here is a pretty quiet place.
This Wednesday, however, the school will be filled with hubbub for an hour or so as around 230 bicyclists eat an early breakfast, stow their gear on a waiting truck and prepare to hit the road for the 26th annual Tour de Nebraska.
The five-day ride will take participants over a 306-mile course with a diversity of landscape: Rich, flat farm ground; hilly rangeland; the valleys of the Platte, Loup, Wood and Little Blue rivers.
Riders also will stop in numerous communities along the route and experience small-town hospitality. Overnight stops include Loup City, Callaway, Holdrege and Blue Hill before the riders pedal back north toward Doniphan Sunday morning.
This year's tour begins and ends at the Doniphan-Trumbull Public School, departing west out of town on Platte River Road, crossing Interstate 80 at the Alda interchange and then rolling north and west before returning south through Holdrege. On Saturday, riders will pedal 59 miles into Blue Hill in time for the annual TDN banquet and awards ceremony.
The ride finishes back in Doniphan Sunday following a 42-mile pull.