COVID-19 Update

We have two major announcements regarding the Vandalia Freedom Bike Tour:

  1. We are postponing the official 25th Anniversary of the Vandalia Freedom Tour until July 4, 2021, when we believe we will be able to properly celebrate the anniversary and enjoy the camaraderie of our participants and event staff.

  2. We are excited to announce the first-ever VIRTUAL Vandalia Freedom Bike Tour to be held this year on July 4, 2020.


For those that are not aware, the annual VFT is the major fundraising event for the Vandalia-Butler Optimist Club. The money raised from this event (and other events throughout the fiscal year) funds numerous youth programs in the community. During these past couple of months, the youth in our community (and throughout the country) have experienced many hardships...cancelled school and community sports, cancelled field trips, cancelled recitals, cancelled school in-person, cancelled graduations, etc.  We would like to ensure that we have the funds available to provide for programs in the coming school year. 


Offering this VIRTUAL Vandalia Freedom Tour will allow participants to still get out on their bikes on July 4 and celebrate freedom! Choose your own route, your own mileage, or use a map from years past and ride the route we typically offer. We are encouraging participants to post on social media using the #virtualVFT2020 hashtag so all participants may enjoy seeing each other's pictures and experiences.


And now, a favor...we are asking for your donation to the Vandalia-Butler Optimist Club if you choose to participate in this VIRTUAL Vandalia Freedom Tour. All donations are tax-deductible and you can decide the amount you wish to donate.


Q: What if I’ve already signed up?
A: Those of you who have already pre-registered will be contacted by way of email.  In a nutshell, we will be providing you with a couple options.  We promise you will be satisfied with the result!

Q: Who can participate?
A: EVERYONE CAN PARTICIPATE! Since this is a VIRTUAL TOUR everyone can ride no matter what the distance.  You can pick your own route or simply ride one of our routes from last year.  Maps of our routes will be available.  Please note – if you are considering using our route we are NOT marking for 2020 so please keep a watchful eye on your map and the road as some of our markings might be a bit faded by now.

Q: How can I donate and be part of this great cause?
A:  Donating is both easy and tax deductible.  After donating you will receive an email regarding the Vandalia-Butler Optimist Club and our 501c3 (Vandalia-Butler Optimist Foundation/EIN# available upon request)

Q: What about shirts, water bottles and prizes?
A: In the interest of keeping costs low and benefits to the youth of our area high – we are foregoing prizes for our Virtual Bike Tour.  Please remember – everything we do is going through the Vandalia-Butler Optimist Club.  All profits are given directly to the youth in our area – no salaries/just blessings!

Q: Can I share my cycling photos and stories along the way?
A: Absolutely! Share your photos with us on our Facebook page.  Be sure that all riders have helmets on. Use our #virtualVFT2020 for your post to show up on our site. Feel free to download and print our special selfie sign for your pictures, if you like! If you want to be featured on our website and future email blasts, simply email your bike photos to

Q: Do I need to wear a helmet?
A: State laws vary, and we always encourage riders of any age to wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear. In other words – we sure hope you do – but we clearly are in no position to make you wear your “brain basket.”  However – relearning the alphabet as a grown adult is nothing to sneeze at – so wear your darn helmet and let’s stop arguing 😊.

Q: Can I still order a jersey?
A: Of course! Order here.

Q: Are you going to have an actual ride in 2021?
A: That’s the best part!  By helping us in 2020 you are assisting us in both our mission (helping the youth of our area) and our planning for the 25th Anniversary Celebration Ride on July 4, 2021.  It’s truly a win/win for everyone involved.