The Missouri River Festival of the Arts Bike Tour is scheduled to depart from Boonville's Thespian Hall at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 18. In its 20th year, the social ride will cover a 42-mile rural stretch through both Cooper and Moniteau Counties. The event, a fundraiser for the Friends of Historic Boonville, Missouri River Festival of the Arts, will also offer an optional 10 miles set to benefit the Loop to Lupus. "We've had years where we've had up to 200 riders. Generally, we have around 120-130. A key to our event is that we're a supported ride that is viewed by some as a precursor to the MS150 that follows in September," said M.L. Cauthon, Chairman of the Arts Bike Tour. Cauthon was referring to a Columbia-based ride which raises money for Multiple Sclerosis causes. To be considered by readers questioning participating in what is potentially a fairly strenuous exercise venture, be aware – SAG vehicles patrol the route. More appropriately termed support and gear, they provide what their name suggests. "This is basically a supported charity ride. We'll have rest stops approximately every 10 miles. Often times, riders will find that this is a hefty ride, being 42 miles long. All the roads are well-paved and maintained, though," said Cauthon. Though calories consumed will be far-outweighed by the ride, and thus negligible, ice cream will be offered at the event's conclusion. In times past, cyclists have travelled from as far as Quincy, Illinois, according to Cauthon. More often, Kansas City, Columbia, St. Louis and Jefferson City send riders. "Frankly, we don't see a lot of Boonville riders, and we'd like to see that change," Cauthon said. Prior to August 15, registration is $20. After, add an additional $5 to the fee. For more information, call Friends of Historic Boonville at 660-882-7977 or 888-588-1477. Readers can also access additional information at www.friendsofhistoricboonville.org.