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Bike the Bend looks for participants

Krystina Harcourt | Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Looking for something fun and athletic to participate in? Bike the Bend, a fun, non-competitive biking event, will take place around the South Bend and Mishawaka area on May 23.

The event will take place from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and will commence in rain or shine.
Peg VanNevel, event director for Bike the Bend, said anyone can register to participate in the event. 

“The goal of Bike the Bend is to provide our community with a family, friend-oriented event that allows everyone the opportunity to ride on trails and streets, side-by-side, creating new memories and seeing the beauty of our cities, parks, historical districts and colleges without motorized traffic,” VanNevel said.

The Louise Addicott and Georgina Joshi Foundation is sponsoring Bike the Bend. Addicott and Joshi died in separate plane crashes, and the Foundation wants participants to enjoy the city the same as they did. 

VanNevel said the event was inspired by Addicott, who loved the outdoors.

“Louise enjoyed riding her bicycle to Farmer’s Market, Notre Dame and Potawatomi Zoo,” the Bike the Bend Web site said. “She loved exploring different South Bend neighborhoods and sharing those explorations with her husband [and children] on bike rides together.”

The route for Bike the Bend is an estimated 30 miles, but does not have a set start and end point.

“Riders are encouraged to start wherever they prefer, whether it’s closest to their home, or to strategically park their vehicle so they can enjoy a new section of our community,” VanNevel said.

Bikers of all ages and all experience levels are encouraged to register and participate. According to the Bike the Bend Web site, those who register will receive a wristband, access to all ride activities including the Post Ride Celebration at Kamm Island, a one-year membership in the Bike Michiana Coalition, and a Bike the Bend T-shirt.

The Post Ride Celebration at Kamm Island will commence between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Participants are encouraged to attend and pack picnic lunches or may purchase food from vendors at the Celebration. Live music, bike safety demonstrations and other exciting activities will also take place. 

The event stresses safety and encourages bicycle education through their event.

“Every participant on the ride must wear a bike helmet, including children in bike carriers/trailers,” VanNevel said.

Participants who do not own or have access to bicycles may rent one from Outpost Sports for a discounted rate of $20. This fee also includes a helmet.

Pamphlets with more information on Bike the Bend can be found in the Angela Athletic Center at Saint Mary’s College.