Annual community ride begins this Friday evening
With one downward stroke of the pedal at 7:00 p.m. Friday, July 29, 2011, the annual “tour de neighborhood” cycling event will bring pedalers and revelers alike to Milwaukee’s Riverwest community. The 24-hour bicycling event isn’t a race as much as a community ride and cyclists – solo and in teams – pedal through a course of block parties, slalomed bike paths, and river bridges – always with time to stop for bonus checkpoints emphasizing creativity, community, and commitment.
“The event isn’t about competition so much as it is about promoting cycling within an urban environment. People come to cheer on riders, volunteer and ride around the neighborhood. This group effort gives the event meaning,” Alderman Kovac said. “The experience is about community – all levels of cyclists join in the fun and people stay out even through the wee hours of the night to encourage cyclists to test their stamina – and to demonstrate that Riverwest is a great and safe place to be at any hour of the day or night.”
The event filled with registered riders in just six hours, and more than 600 riders will pedal in the now 4th annual affair. “The Riverwest 24 is just an amazing display of community,” Alderwoman Coggs said. “There are so many levels of participation and residents have really taken ownership of this do-it-yourself, local event. They are really representing to the city what an engaged, cooperative community looks like—whether they’re on wheels or in lawn chairs.”
Alderman Kovac steps into the saddle with a team from City Hall: Jeff Polenske, Patrick Hartmann and Ghassan Korban of the Department of Public Works; Matt Howard of the Office of Environmental Sustainability and Andy Tillman of the Department of City Development.
The event kicks off on the 2600 block of N. Pierce St. and riders may engage the 4.6 mile suggested course any way they’d like to earn points at check stations. The public is invited to watch the wheels for 24 hours this Friday through Saturday.