Community Bike Ride
What: one-mile, three-mile and 10-mile routes
When: The first ride begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
Where: Rotary Arboretum, by the Youth Sports Complex at Clinton Lake
Admission: free for all cyclists
Registration: online at ridelawrence.com or on site Saturday
In July, the decision to leave an air-conditioned home for some time in the great outdoors can be a tough one, but one local group hopes to make it a bit more appealing.
“We have an objective to help people realize there’s a great alternative to staying inside,” said Stephen Lane, chairman of the event. “This is why we do it. We have to just hope that they really get out there.”
So far, the club’s signature event has been deemed a success.
A little more than 100 people attended the inaugural Community Bike Ride in 2011, and 225 attended last year. Lane expects the trend to continue, and estimates that about 300 will participate this Saturday.
There are three routes for cyclists to choose from: the one-mile loop around the arboretum, the three-mile family ride to Clinton Lake Overlook Park and back, and the slightly more challenging 10-mile ride to Interstate 70 and back.
The 10-mile starts at 8 a.m. and the three-mile begins shortly after, at 8:30. The one-mile loop, which is also open to those who would like to walk, is open from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. All riders will be traveling on the South Lawrence Trafficway bike path.
Lane said the three-mile loop would take about 40 minutes at a leisurely pace, and that most people on this route are parents accompanying their children.
“This is an event that lets people do something as a family,” he said. “It’s accessible for most folks.”
Attendees will receive T-shirts, healthy drinks and snacks, helmets and bike tune-ups, all free.
The first Community Bike Ride was held in 2011 and was started by a two-year grant from LiveWell Lawrence.
“Our Rotary club set out in 2010 to try to make a difference in the community by bringing in opportunities to promote a healthy lifestyle,” Lane said. “This is just one of those, and it is the biggest even that we put on.”
Though the Rotary has been pleased with the number of people attending the event, Lane said the club hopes individuals and families continue visiting the arboretum throughout the year to get more time outdoors.
The setting, with its trees, garden, gazebo, pond and waterfalls draws people in, Lane said, and seems to make a lasting impression.
“If I weren’t in this club, I would be guilty of never being out there. I have my routines, and that’s the case of 95 percent of the Lawrence community,” he said. “They get out here and all of a sudden are seeing a beautiful venue, a great area to hang out.”