The Suburbanite
  • Four Seasons: Parks celebrates May as National Bike Month

  • Stark Parks has one of the prime off-road trails for bicycle riding.

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  • Stark County Park District has much reason to observe May as National Bike Month and is affording riders plenty of opportunity to join in on the celebration.
    Stark Parks has one of the prime off-road trails for bicycle riding — the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, which covers more than 25 miles of western Stark County and extends north through Summit County into the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Other trails in Stark Parks that allow bicycling are the Olde Muskingum Trail, Mahoning Valley Trail, Hoover Trail, Middle Branch Trail, West Branch Trail and Nickel Plate Trail.
    Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Month is “an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons people ride,” explained Connie Rubin of Stark Parks. “Whether you bike to work or school, to save money or time, to preserve your health or the environment, to explore your community or get to your destination, you can enjoy Bike Month in Stark County and help encourage others to ride, too.”
    Events related to National Bike Month include Bike to School Day May 8, Bike to Work Week May 13-17, and Bike to Work Day May 17.
    Local Bike Month activities are:
    Monday — Women’s Road Ride at 6 p.m. from Ernie’s Bicycle Shop at Lake Avenue Trailhead in Massillon.
    May 11 — Night Ride on the Towpath Trail at 8:30 p.m. from Ernie’s Bicycle Shop at Lake Avenue Trailhead in Massillon.
    May 18-19 — First Merit Century Ride on the Towpath trail, a fundraiser for Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, leaving from Ernie’s Bicycle Shop in Massillon at 6:30 a.m. on May 18 and 8 a.m. on May 19. Call Dan Rice at 330-374-5657.
    May 19 — Bicycle Poker run on the Towpath Trail, with registration from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., from Ernie’s Bicycle Shop in Massillon, sponsored by Massillon Area Greenways, Stark County Bicycle Club and Ernie’s Bicycle Shop.
    Stark County Bicycle Club is a biking organization formed in 1968. The club has grown to nearly 300 members and offers a varied ride schedule of more than 1,400 rides. Club members totaled 334,490 miles in 2012.
    The club meets monthly. The next meeting is Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Rafters Bar & Grill at Meadowlake Golf & Swim Club at 1211 39th St. NE, Canton.
    To join, visit www.bikescbc.com.
    Folks on Spokes is another area bicycle club that offers a regular but less ambitious ride schedule that emphasizes fun.
    “Tuesday evenings we have a dinner ride where we ride about 14-16 miles and then go out to eat after the ride,” the club’s website. “Saturday mornings we have a longer ride of 40 to 60 miles with a lunch stop on the way. Many of these rides have a second pick-up point for those who only like to ride 25 to 35 miles. Sunday afternoons we have a shorter ‘family ride’ of about 12 to 16 miles.”
    Page 2 of 2 - You can download a membership application for Folks on Spokes by visiting www.folksonspokes-stark.com.
    The 2002 National Survey of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes and Behaviors reported 26 percent of people ride a bicycle for recreation, 23.6 percent for exercise, 14.2 percent to go home, 13.9 percent to run errands, 10.1 percent to visit a friend or relative, 5 percent to commute to work or school, 2.3 percent just to go for a ride, and 4.9 percent for other reasons. Source: League of American Bicyclists
    Reach Gary at 330-580-8303 or gary.brown@cantonrep.com.
    On Twitter: @gbrownREP

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