'Friends' tout trails' health benefits with bike tour
Whether you're training for a triathlon or just want to see some of Ohio's great outdoor trails, a community bicycle tour may be the solution.
The 10th annual Delaware County Friends of the Trail Community Ties Bicycle Tour will begin with registration from 7 to 9 a.m. Saturday, July 28, at Northside Fellowship Church, 6841 Freeman Road.
The cost is $25 per person or family in advance, $30 the day of the ride. All proceeds go to the Friends of the Trail, which uses the funds for multipurpose trail development in Delaware County and connections to the statewide Ohio to Erie Trail.
Cyclists may choose to take a 31-, 62- or 100-mile ride. There also is an 8-mile family ride that begins at 10 a.m.
All rides include scenic areas, rare bird habitats, parks, new sections of Ohio to Erie Trail and well-marked route maps.
A homemade lunch featuring locally grown items will be provided by the Glass Rooster Home Cannery at Northside Fellowship Church at the end of each ride. There also will be multiple stops along each ride that feature homemade cookies and other healthy snacks.
Barry Schumann, event organizer and Friends of the Trail member, said the purpose of the event is to raise awareness of the multiuse trails in Delaware County.
"This is a great opportunity for people to get out and support the development of multiuse trails that are enjoyed by people in all walks of life." he said. "These trails can have a positive impact on our community."
In 2011, there were 275 participants in the ride -- its best turnout. Many used the ride as an opportunity to train and prepare for Pelotonia, which was two weeks later.
The tours include parts of the Genoa Township Trail, the Hoover Scenic Trail and the Ohio to Erie Trail.
"People use these trails for a variety of purposes: running, walking, jogging, cycling and walking their dogs," Schumann said.
In addition to making people aware of the trails, organizers hope cyclists will see the advantages the trails can have for their health.
Schumann said OhioHealth is the presenting sponsor.
"There are health benefits of multiuse trails to everyone in our communities who use them to sustain an active, healthy lifestyle," he said.
Schumann said the most popular tour is the 62-mile ride for those who have been cycling for awhile, but beginners should consider the 31-mile ride.
Serious cyclists will enjoy the 100-mile tour, which covers the entire 62-mile route and an additional 30-mile loop to Johnstown, he said.
Although cyclists can ride the trails solo or with a friend, a large group of cyclists can be encouraging to the rider.
"There is something about the camaraderie of going with other cyclists, plus an organized ride includes places to stop for snacks and cold water," Schumann said. "It's a great way for people to enjoy riding together and have all the other factors planned out for you."
To register for the tour or for more information, visit dcft.org.