Cyclists of all ages and skill levels are invited to partake in Saturday’s free Lawrence Community Bike Ride.
The seventh annual event, slated for 8:30 to 11 a.m., offers participants three route options originating at the Lawrence Rotary Arboretum, 5100 W. 27th St. Lawrence’s Central Rotary Club has organized the ride since 2011 in an effort to get folks moving while also showcasing the trails and natural beauty of the arboretum.
“It’s really part of our Rotary group initiative to promote things that support a healthy lifestyle,” said Steve Lane, a Rotary Club member and longtime chairman of the Community Bike Ride.
“And it just happens to be that we thought a community bike ride would fit well in Lawrence,” Lane said of the event’s beginnings in 2011. “There hadn’t been one, so we thought, ‘Gosh, why don’t we make one?’”
Ride participation has grown since then, with about 150 cyclists attending last year. Past rides have drawn cyclists in their 80s and 90s, Lane said, as well as families with young children. In the spirit of inclusivity, rides range from a one-mile loop around the arboretum to a 10-mile jaunt out to I-70 and back. There’s also a three-mile “family ride” at 9 a.m. that takes bicyclists to the Clinton Lake overlook and back, with free refreshments at both ends of the route.
The 10-mile route starts at 8:30 a.m., while cyclists can ride the one-mile loop around the arboretum throughout the morning.
Organizers are also hosting a training wheel take-off workshop for smaller kids, along with a bounce house and other inflatables in the arboretum parking lot. Other activities include helmet fittings and safety vest giveaways (while supplies last), healthy snacks provided by The Merc, and bicycle maintenance and checkups from Sunflower Outdoor and Bike Shop.
Lane hopes for a “couple hundred” cyclists to attend Saturday’s event, which precedes another Lawrence Community Bike Ride in the fall. As in previous years, beginners are very much welcome, he said.
“I think that’s the most important thing, is that it’s an inclusive event,” Lane said. “What we’re doing can really appeal to kids who are on training wheels to kids that are ready to go the full 10-mile ride, and families as well, and individuals, too.”
In case of rain, the event will be held Sunday at the same time. For more information on this summer’s Lawrence Community Bike Ride, visit www.ridelawrence.com.