Great American Bike Rally set for Saturday in Hamilton

Though the annual Great American Bike Rally is changing locations for 2022, it’s still supporting the same charitable organizations.

“We wanted to move it to a bigger venue, try to drive more ridership, and quite frankly, there are more riders there at the Hamilton venue, down on the river,” said Dean Bruewer, co-founder of the annual bike event that’s supported the Boys and Girls Club of Hamilton and the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields since its inception in 2019.

“We’re still keeping to our mission, uniting the two communities (Hamilton and Fairfield) with a fundraising effort. That’s the whole idea, and we’ll switch it, we’ll move it around. This year it’s going to be at Casual Pint near Marcum Park.”

Saturday’s rally, during which the one-hour registration window begins at 8 a.m. at the Casual Pint’s patio, 130 Riverfront Plaza, will allow riders to pick how far they want to ride along the bicycle trails that surround the city and extend into other communities in the county. There will also be several door prizes and gift cards to win, and registration T-shirts, as available.

Bicycle riders can go anywhere from 1 to 20 miles, or those more adventurous riders can participate in the long ride “out to the country” ― 35-plus miles ― riding along the river up to Okeana and back. There are fruit, drinks, and snacks provided by the rally organizers after the ride, which is $15 for those 12 and under, and $35 for over 12 and adults.

Bruewer said he wants to get ridership for this year’s event up. It took a hit during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s on the rise. Organizers want to see more than what they got in the first year, which was 70.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, when ridership was expected to be down, and donations were expected to be impacted, Bruewer added a Butler County to Cleveland ride along the trails, which allowed the rally to match its fundraising goal of year one. In year four, they hope to continue the trend of donating at least a collective $10,000 to their charitable partners.

Though they have a minimum goal, the organization’s 2022 goal is to raise $25,000 through sponsorships and rider support, as all proceeds support charitable causes.

“We’ve raised $10,000 every year and we’ve donated $10,000 every year to the charities,” Bruewer said. “This year will be no different, hopefully, it will be a little more than that.”

The rally will begin ahead of the start of the annual Operation Pumpkin event, which was by design and coordination with the annual downtown festival. There will be a bike corral for riders when they return from the trails, where they can park their bicycles and enjoy Day 2 of Operation Pumpkin, which runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. Day 1 of Operation Pumpkin, which is today, also runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Day 3 runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

“We thought it was a great idea, we contacted the committee, we’re both aligned with the committee, we agree it’s a good thing,” Bruewer said. “You can get out, take a bike ride, bring your kids up and park your bike to walk around downtown.”

Operation Pumpkin co-chair Jason Snyder said with any other event happening the same weekend, “the more the merrier.”

“We hold the same opinion of the Pumpkin Fall Crawl that the businesses on the west side of Hamilton have organized,” he said. “The more people downtown, the better.”


The 4th annual Great American Bike Rally is set for Saturday, and will run ahead of the festivities of Operation Pumpkin.

Visit to register, or register the day-of at the Casual Pint patio, 130 Riverfront Plaza, downtown Hamilton.

Cost is $15 for riders 12 and younger, $35 for those 12 and older and adults.

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