Hilliard Northwest News

Community will roll out cycling program May 19


The Pedals to Paws community cycling program kickoff event is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, May 19, at the Hilliard-Ray Patch Family YMCA, 4515 Cosgray Road.

The kickoff event will be free but residents are encouraged to bring a canned food donation for the Hilliard Community Assistance Council.

Members of the bicycle patrols from the Hilliard Division of Police and the Norwich Township Fire Department will perform safety checks and helmet and bike fittings for children.

A "safety town" will be set up in the parking lot to teach children riding safety.

Participants also can register to win a bicycle donated by Credit Union of Ohio.

Participants will be able to ride along with members of the police and fire department bike patrols on the Heritage Trail near the YMCA.

Christy Clark, executive director of Destination Hilliard, said she wanted to promote the Heritage Trail and bicycle riding, so she approached the city's safety departments about a collaborative effort for safe cycling.

"The response was tremendous and it grew into a much larger event," Clark said.

After the May 19 event, Destination Hilliard and its partners will host five organized rides each Monday evening in June.

The rides will begin at 7 p.m. in the parking lot of the YMCA. Cyclists will pedal a flat, two-mile route from the YMCA to the Heritage Trail Dog Park.

Hilliard Division of Police officers will accompany riders June 2; on June 9, Dr. Kelley Clem and Dr. Robert Gorsline will be along for the ride.

Jeff Hogan, a news anchor for WBNS 10-TV, will lead the June 16 ride, and the Norwich Township Fire Department's bike patrol will lead the June 23 ride.

The series will conclude June 30 with a promotion for the best-decorated bike for the Fourth of July parade. The winner will receive a Zoombezi Bay prize package donated by Primrose School of Hilliard West.

Officer Ron Burkitt, a member of the Hilliard police bike patrol, created the name of the series of events, and Eric McCabe, a senior at Bradley High School, created its logo.