Sue DiPiano is on a roll as a member of the BAM-ily

This article will appear in the September 2022 issue of Missouri Life magazine.

Meet Sue DiPiano. She has ridden every Big BAM (Bicycle Across Missouri), presented by Missouri Life. That includes the road rides and BAM on the Katy, except the very first road ride, and she missed the road ride this past summer because she rode the Natchez Trace.

This fall, she is riding the southern tier of our country, from San Diego, California, to St. Augustine, Florida. Sue, who lives near New Melle, is one of many BAM repeat riders, and she’s the one we know the best. This passionate cyclist is often found in a bike saddle, but she also has a horse.

You can usually find her in one saddle or another.

Missouri Life Editorial Director Danita Allen Wood (left) and frequent BAM rider Sue DiPiano stop on one of the many bridges over creeks during a BAM on the Katy ride.

How many times have you participated in a BAM ride?

I’ve done five road rides and all four of the BAM on the Katy Trail that you’ve held. I missed the first year you started the ride. I didn’t learn about BAM until I saw a booth at a RAGBRAI Expo in 2015. (RAGBRAI stands for the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, sponsored by The Des Moines Register).

My first ride was the next year, from St. Joseph to Hannibal. I thought it would be a great ride to help me get ready for the next RAGBRAI. It was really fun. I have relatives in Hannibal, and it was really cool to meet them at the end.

What is it about these rides that keeps you coming back?

I’m an outdoorsy person. I keep doing it because I love to ride. I like to be outside, and Missouri is one of the most scenic states to ride in. I’ve ridden organized rides in Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee, and Missouri is as beautiful as any. Anytime I’m traveling, I take my bike.

Do you usually recruit friends to come with you on rides?

No, I almost always register solo, but you meet people and make friends from all over. I went to the Natchez Trace with a group of women I met on BAM. We call each other our BAM family. Some are from Missouri, and some are from out of state. We have a lot in common. I was a school counselor, and many of these women were teachers.

What’s your favorite view on BAM on the KATY?

I love going across the bridge over the Missouri River into Hermann, with the sun shining on those historic buildings, and riding between the river and the river bluffs near Rocheport. I like all the bridges over creeks and the tunnel at Rocheport, too.

What’s a favorite memory from your BAM experiences?

I often tell people about meeting a guy who was walking, pushing his dog in a trailer cart, as I rode into Jefferson City one year. We fell into conversation, and I learned he was hiking all the way to Colorado.

Hermann Wurst Haus is also a favorite memory. That place really takes care of BAM cyclists. There are so many: the ice cream at Rocheport, riding by sunflower fields and getting pictures. I also love the history of the trail, the Lewis and Clark signage explaining their journey—and pointing out Native American pictographs Lewis and Clark would have spotted— and of course the scenery.

Are you planning to be back with us at BAM next year?

Yes, I’m already talking with my St. Louis group, the St. Louis Recreational Cyclists, about how we could volunteer to help BAM on the summer road ride.

For more information about BAM on the Katy, October 10–14, visit or Anyone who can ride a bike can probably do one day of BAM for a sampling of the event; day riders, three-day riders, and e-bikes are welcome.