Community bike ride supports area multi-use recreation trails

Community bike ride supports area multi-use recreation trails
Ellen Pill

Wooster Mayor Bob Breneman, left, and Wayne County Commissioner Sue Smail have a friendly challenge going to see who can raise the most money for the Wayne Trails benefit ride. The winner will be treated to a Coccia House pizza.

                        

Bike enthusiasts are invited to join in a community bike ride fundraiser on May 19 from 12:30-4 p.m. in support of the series of multi-use recreation trails throughout Wooster and Wayne County.

Christopher Buehler and Kurt Holmes are co-chairs of the Wayne Trails committee. Wayne Trails had its origins as the City of Wooster Bike Path Committee.

As the focus of the group grew to connecting Wooster via bike path to surrounding communities, the committee morphed into its present configuration.

Buehler said, “Wayne Trails is an organization of area volunteers that is focused on the promotion, design and construction of multi-use recreational trails throughout Wayne County to connect communities to one another as well as the larger state and national trail networks.”

The committee is made up of individuals from the City of Wooster, Wayne County government, OSU/ATI, Rails-to-Trails, RideOn bicycle shop and community bike enthusiasts.

The first Wayne Trails benefit ride will start at the northeast side of the square in downtown Wooster.

There will be two rides to choose from. “One ride will follow the entire Wooster to Fredericksburg designated route and back while the other ride will essentially stop and turn around about halfway to Fredericksburg for those looking for a shorter ride,” Buehler said.

Buehler said Wooster Mayor Bob Breneman and Wayne County Commissioner Sue Smail will participate in the ride along with a couple of Wooster City police officers.

The City of Wooster Police Department and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department will serve as escorts along portions of the route.

Buehler said, “We are generally asking that riders be 12 years of age or older. We suggest riding with a parent if you’re under 15, just due to the distance and location of the ride.”

For the full route, Buehler said participants would probably want a road bike. For the half route, “riders can get away with a variety of bike types, due to the shorter distance and fewer hills.”

RideOn may have a few bikes available to borrow on a first come, first serve basis. Anyone interested should contact RideOn as soon as possible and not wait until the last minute.

The route does not include highways, and escorts will be present along the way to provide assistance along any busy intersection or portion of the route.

Committee members will ride along with the groups for the entire route, and assistance will be available in the event a biker has a maintenance or other issue en route.

To add a bit of fun to the ride, Breneman and Smail have challenged each other to raise money for the ride.

“We thought it would be a good idea if a challenge was involved,” Smail said.

The two decided whoever raises the most money will treat the other to a Coccia House pizza.

Checks in support of either the mayor or commissioner should be payable to Wayne County Community Foundation and mailed to 517 N. Market St., Wooster, OH 44691. Write Bob or Sue in the notation line on the check.

Both the mayor and commissioner agree all donations are welcome, and the ultimate goal is to raise funds for the trails. And both would enjoy having the victory pizza.

Ride entry fees also may be designated to support either the mayor or commissioner as well.

According to Buehler, the master plan for the full city loop of bike trails is taking shape.

“Residents will continue to see progress on these trails in the coming months and years as the network continues to expand,” he said. “The committee recognized the need to begin connecting these trails to the larger network throughout the state and country. Wayne County currently has a number of local trail networks already constructed by Rails-to-Trails and state routes designated by ODOT. We are focused on connecting to these resources wherever possible.”

All proceeds raised by the bike ride will be used for the design, construction and overall maintenance of future trails throughout Wayne County, starting with the route between Wooster and Fredericksburg.

Registration is approximately $28 including tax and includes a meal ticket and participation in the ride. After May 9, T-shirt size and availability cannot be guaranteed. “We’ll do our best, though,” Buehler said.

Registrations will be accepted up to the day of the event, including on site prior to the start of the ride.

Details are available on the registration page at www.waynetrails.eventbrite.com.

“The area between Wooster and Fredericksburg is beautiful,” Breneman said. “You can see for miles. It is a nice ride in the country, approximately 8 miles, on hopefully a wonderful spring day. It doesn’t get much better than this.”


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