COLUMBIA — Out of breath and covered in sweat, Denise Milstead trekked up the last bit of the hill. She handed her bike to a volunteer and had to catch her breath to speak, and understandably so. She had just ridden 17 miles.
Unlike last year, the weather stayed in the mid-70s for most of the day with overcast skies and scattered showers throughout the day.
"It was cooler this year," Milstead said. "Last year it was blazing hot."
Saturday marked the fifth annual Boone Dawdle, an event that begins at Flat Branch Park and, after a 17-mile bike ride along the Katy Trail, ends at the Blufftop Bistro at Les Bourgeois Vineyard in Rocheport. The Boone Dawdle is a way to raise money for the annual True/False Film Fest. Last year the Dawdle raised about $4,000, according to previous Missourian reporting.
Jeremy Brown, managing director of the festival, said he expected 600 participants at this year's Boone Dawdle, including 450 attendees, 100 volunteers and a handful of local musicians.
"It's a summertime shot in the arm for True/False fans," Brown said.
The 17-mile bike ride, a movie under the stars and various surprises along the way are typical of Dawdles from years past. But Brown said True/False made a few additions to this year's event. Boone Dawdle 2014 included a beer tasting at Katfish Katy's campgrounds, approximately 10 miles into the bike ride, including beer from local breweries Schlafly, Flat Branch, Broadway Brewery, Bur Oak Brewing and Logboat Brewing Company.
"I went for the Bur Oak [beer] of course," Milstead said. "I'm a fan of the tree."
Also new this year was a 25-minute boat ride on the Missouri River by Missouri River Relief, a nonprofit organization concerned with keeping the river clean.
"I think they're really excited about it," Brown said about the attendees. "It sold out really fast."
The 17-mile ride concluded at Blufftop Bistro Saturday night, where participants could eat at the dinner buffet, listen to a concert and cap off the night watching "An Honest Liar," a documentary about a world-famous magician named The Amazing Randi.
As the sun began its slow descent over the Missouri River, the last of the dawdlers handed their bikes over to volunteers to be loaded on the trucks that would take them back to Columbia. The attendees proceeded to the Blufftop Bistro for a 9 p.m. screening under the stars.
This year's True/False Film Fest is scheduled for March 5-8, 2015.
Supervising editor is Mary Ryan.