Community bike ride encourages outdoor activity
RONAN – Rainy weather and a few muddy puddles couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of more than 40 cyclists who attended a family-friendly bike ride around Ronan on Saturday during the Mission Mountain Family Pedal to Plate.
“It was really wonderful to see people out biking in our community,” said organizer Janet Sucha. “Despite the rain, it was nice to see people out on the trail.”
The event started and finished in the parking area behind the new clubhouse of the Boys and Girls Club in Ronan. It was hosted by the club and sponsored by Mission Mountain Area Pedal to Plate.
Saturday’s event was a family-based offshoot of MMAPP’s annual 40-mile cycling event that tours the Mission Valley in the fall, which will showcase the different farms and organic foods produced throughout the valley. “This is our gift back to the community,” said Sucha.
For those participating in either the three-mile bike ride that went through the city park and streets of Ronan or the shorter one-mile walk or ride that looped around the elementary school, a locally-sourced organic hoagie sandwich lunch was provided.
Getting out of the house and doing something healthy was a major motivator for Tess Jordan. “It was good, really good, to get outside,” said Jordan.
According to Sucha, the event was also organized “in hopes to encourage people to get on their bikes for the summer.”
Volunteers repaired about 25 donated bicycles that were not being used anymore because they had flat tires, needed a pedal replaced, new cables or had a broken seat. The repairs were available free of charge to help encourage people to try cycling as a form of recreation and exercise.
“A co-worker told me about this amazing opportunity to come and get a free bike,” said Darralynn Hill, who was picking out a bike so she and her family could enjoy quality time outdoors this summer.
While the day was about having fun riding around the streets of Ronan, the event also provided an important opportunity for teaching bicycle safety. Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Health donated and made available bike helmets for those who required them. A safety representative was also in attendance to help with proper helmet fitting and to instruct riders on bike safety and road rules.
Registration, updates and information for the upcoming MMAPP event on Sept. 22 can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Pedal2Plate.