Springbike hosts Family Fun Bike Ride

Bruce Adib-Yazdi sends this info about Springfield's Family Fun Bike Ride September 20th:
There were about 40 participants in the Family Fun Bike Ride that was organized by Springbike, and sponsored by Ozark Greenways, Hearts and Parks, the City of Springfield, and Jordan Valley Ice Park.

There were all kinds of bikes - from road bikes, to stylish commuters to kids with training wheels. Among the group was the City Manager, Tom Finnie. Before the ride, many people just wandered around Jordan Valley Park, enjoying the warm morning sun and seeing what the park was all about. Some had their tires aired up, others had minor mechanical problem fixed - Sunshine Bike Shop was there to offer assistance.

Dan Kinney, the Director of Springfield-Greene County Park Board started the ride with a few words about the Hearts and Parks coalition. I made note that we were on E. Trafficway, which has the only dedicated bicycle lanes in the City, (the lanes on W. Battlefield are in the county) and the group applauded, thanking the City Manager for them. Then we were off.

We stopped at several downtown and center city projects along the way. (Expo Center, Ice Park, Car Park, Hammons Field Ball Park, Future Arena site, Jordan Valley Park Phase I, Cider Days, Walnut Street / South Street Entertainment District, the Square, Founders park, Jordan Valley Greenway, The Creamery Art Building) We talked a bit about them, and the development of downtown and center city in general, as well as about bicycle safety and rules of the road. It was a good combination of seeing the center city grow, and learning about bicycle safety. Total of 1.6 miles, and 35-40 minutes. Also along this route were several City, State and Federal government facilities.

At the end there were gift bags for all, which included bicycle safety info, a Hearts 'n Parks bicycle bell, Cider Days passes, and several other fun things. Immediately following the ride was the dedication of the new Expo Center. Mayor Tom Carlson started the dedication (which included MANY local and state elected officials, as well as MODot for public funding for the Car Park) by acknowledging the ride as one of several activities the day had to offer, and he then pulled three names from a hat containing names of those who participated in the ride. Each of the three received bike shop gift certificates. Good publicity for cycling in general.

All in all, I believe this event was a success, and the Advocacy Committee thinks we need to do something similar next year, again with Hearts 'n Parks, and again in the downtown / center city area. Maybe during Bike Month in May? Undoubtedly by then there will be new things to see in this area of the city.