Kosciusko County Velo (KCV Cycling) has donated $5,000 to a newly established Ride+Walk Fund. The money will go to help reach the matching funds needed for the recent K21 Health Foundation’s 3-1 matching grant of $375,000 for the community’s Ride+Walk project on E. Market Street, which includes the addition of a world-class pedestrian and bicycle-friendly trail design, helping to eventually connect trails in Warsaw and Winona Lake.
“Although we’re a small non-profit, fully run by volunteers, we have a large mission focused on helping the community through our shared passion for bicycling,” said Greg Demopoulos, KCV President. “It is an honor to be able to donate to a community initiative we are so proud of. It’s ultimately what we want to do as an organization – raise awareness for the benefits of bicycling, offer activities and education to help improve community health, and encourage others in the community to join us in raising funds to build trails and provide access to the infrastructure needed to make our community a better place to live, work, and play.”
The Ride+Walk Fund held in partnership with K21 Health Foundation will allow for organizations and individuals to easily make donations for future infrastructure and education improvements outlined by the Ride+Walk Master Plan. In 2012, the Ride +Walk Master Plan was developed through several public input meetings in coordination with the Indiana Department of Health, the city of Warsaw, and the town of Winona Lake.
“Our hope is that our entire community embraces whatever healthy living opportunities are available to them, and interests them. Supporting the progress through advocacy, financial donations, volunteerism, and lifestyle commitments are important for everyone to provide a vibrant community,” said Rich Haddad, K21 Health Foundation President and CEO.
“The persistent grassroots efforts of Kosciusko County Velo have been the catalyst for the Indiana Department of Health planning grant that funded our current Ride+Walk Master Plan. They have also been foundational to the significant progress we have made over the past three years to develop and grow our Ride+Walk infrastructure,” said Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer. “Private donations from individuals and organizations are most critical to assist as match funds to leverage public allocations and grant opportunities. The growth of our community trail system has gained tremendous momentum. It is now up to all of us to sustain that growth!”
“Ride+Walk Warsaw + Winona Lake is about making it as safe, easy, and fun as possible to get from here to there. KCV does a wonderful job of ‘getting the wheels rolling,’ and when those riders want to integrate bikes further into their daily routine, we have a great team of partners working together to make that possible. The challenges that come with this integration are as diverse as the members of our community, and it takes a village (and a city) to make it happen,” said Tim Dombrosky, Warsaw Assistant City Planner and Ride+Walk Warsaw+Winona Lake Coordinator.
PHOTO: Kosciusko County Velo (KCV) Board Members and volunteers donated $5000 to the newly established Ride+Walk Fund to Warsaw Assistant City Planner and Ride+Walk Warsaw+Winona Lake Coordinator Tim Dombrosky, K21 Health Foundation President Rich Haddad, and Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer. (Pictured from left to right): Megan Metzger, Bruce Lankenau, Fred Helfrich, Tim Dombrosky, Matt Metzger, Greg Demopoulos, Barry McManus, Todd Snyder, Hunter Metzger, Jacob Moore, Rich Haddad, Andy Cochran, Joe Thallemer, Rob Bishop, Russell Webb, Kami Johnson, and Chris Gaby.
We are excited to announce this year’s group ride offerings for 2015. Our plan is to offer the following rides on a weekly basis starting in early May and continuing through September…
- Beginner No-drop Mountain Bike
- Beginner No-drop Road
- Intermediate Road
- First Friday Family Fun Rides
Our objective, stated bluntly, is to get butts on bikes. We want to offer, especially to new riders, a fun and safe way to get out with other riders and learn about the fun of group rides, as well as safe riding rules and techniques.
In order to make these rides effective we obviously need experienced bicyclists to take leadership roles. In the past the various group rides we offered were led by only a few very dedicated members, and we know that took a toll on them.
This year we want to spread the work and the fun, so we are looking for volunteers that are willing to lead just one group ride per month, so if we are offering 4 rides per week, and we would prefer 2 leaders per ride, you can see we need about 30 people to step up to volunteer. That sounds like a lot, but there are many of you that have benefited from such rides early in your cycling career, so we hope you will step up to give back.
We will provide training and clear direction to all ride leaders. And we expect to be able to offer some swag as an enticement, though we know you will do it because you are just a nice person.
If you would like to find out more, or want to sign up to lead a ride a couple times per month, please contact Fred Helfrich.
There’s something special about bicycling at the end of summer and early fall… the cooler weather, the leafs changing color, the smell of bonfires, Octoberfest(s), etc… And thus, we’re excited to highlight some great events taking place this upcoming season:
September 5: First Friday Warsaw – we always encourage people to ride their bikes downtown to enjoy the festivities of First Friday in Warsaw. With increased bike racks available downtown, and oftentimes other riders leaving from Trailhouse around 6pm, it’s a great way to enjoy the kick-off to the weekend and a new month, while helping the environment, alleviating traffic issues, and doing something good for your body.
September 13: 12 Hours of Winona – Join us at the Winona Lake trails for a fun day of mountain bike racing all for a great cause. Gather up your team, or ride solo, while enjoying some great food, music, a day with friends (old and new), cold beer and a ton of fun for the right reason. Proceeds will benefit local trails, including the Ride+Walk Warsaw+Winona Lake Market Street project. Be sure to bring a costume and invite your friends. We’ll have random prizes drawn throughout the day for things like best costume, youngest participant, oldest participant, etc. Pre-register and save. Event t-shirts and meal tickets guaranteed for pre-registrants only. See the event flyer here.
October 4: Cerulean Hash Ride & Run – One of the funnest events of the year. Our friends at Cerulean throw a big Octoberfest party for us, umm… well, to close their Garden Bar for the season, but it’s kicked off with a big, group ride (MTB and road) and run, capped off with great food, great brews and live music. And proceeds benefit our local trails, including the Ride+Walk Warsaw+Winona Lake Market Street project. The only rules; head for the trails (or the road) at the start, do as many laps as you want, come back and get beer each lap, stick around for the food and music, or go home, change and come back. Either way, just be there and have a great time.
Join us August 17 for the NIMBA Series / KCV MTB XC Race at the Winona Lake Trails: The Northern Indiana Mountain Bike Association (NIMBA) does an amazing job building and maintaining mountain bike trails in the Michiana area, and their support of cycling is top notch. Come out to their fundraising race series stop in Winona Lake which helps support each of the local, northern Indiana mountain bike trails. Proceeds from the race go back to the Winona Lake Trails, as well as the Ride+Walk Warsaw+Winona Lake initiative.
For more details, check out our Events page.
Join us August 9 for the With Love Left Over Offroad Challenge (MTB & Run) at Kintionki Trails, Salamonie Reservoir: With Love Left Over is a non-profit that helps special needs children (fostered, abused, malnourished, fetal alcohol, etc.) with forever family care and bicycle enrichment programs to help rebuild their esteem and worth. They’re hosting the WLLO Off Road Challenge, consisting of a 9k or 32k mountain bike race starting at 8am, and a 9k and 16k trail run beginning at 10am. Racers can compete individually or as teams. On-site registration and check-in begins at 7am.
Can you feel it? The energy in the air?
Yep, it’s May — and May is Bike Month.
We recognize the bike as a simple solution to so many health, transportation and sustainability challenges we face, as well as an icon of freedom.
Whether you bike to work or school; ride to save money or time; pump those pedals to preserve your health or the environment; to compete; or simply to explore your community, National Bike Month is an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride.
Thanks to spring there is a natural buzz in our community, and we want to encourage, educate, and grow the amount of daily riders and bike-curious residents to gather to celebrate biking in enjoyable and creative ways. Join the movement and become part of the Ride + Walk initiative!
This month is our yearly big start. It’s the official beginning of the National Bike Challenge, and all the Bike Month activities we want to raise awareness for, and get you involved in.
So what’s on the calendar? Here are important dates to remember, along with a brief description to help you get going:
- May 7: Bike to School Day – this national day raises awareness for kids being able to get to school in other ways than bus and car. If your kids have a safe route to school, and they are allowed to ride bikes, consider riding bikes with them. If they don’t, let the principal and your school board know you would like your kids to be able to ride to school, and that they should join the Ride+Walk movement locally. If you would like to help organize an official day locally, please contact us.
- May 10: Tune-up Day at Trailhouse for Lakeview Triathlon kids – the kids at Lakeview Middle School have a triathlon coming up, and to encourage them, we’ll be helping provide free tune-ups at Trailhouse from 10am-2pm.
- May 12-16: Bike to Work Week – this national week is the middle of National Bike Month, and a way for people to embrace the buzz and spring weather. Show your support for bicycling as a transportation alternative, and ride to work. In fact, encourage your business to consider becoming a Bicycle Friendly Business. If you need help, let us know, we’d be glad to walk you through the process.
- May 13: Lakeview Triathlon – the kids at Lakeview Middle School will be competing in the morning. We’ll be providing mechanical support and encouraging the kids that morning. If you’d like to help, let us know.
- May 15: Cerulean After Hours – join us at Cerulean Restaurant where a portion of proceeds will be donated to Ride + Walk initiatives.
- May 16: Bike to Work Day – the pinnacle of Bike to Work week is Friday, and we like to celebrate in style. Join us on your bike at the Light Rail Café for free coffee, and then stop by Cerulean Restaurant at the end of the day for a free beverage before Fat & Skinny kicks off.
- May 16-18: Fat & Skinny Tire Fest 11 – Our all-size-tires shindig is an ode to National Bike Month where our community puts the focus on bicycling for all ages and all skill levels. Come out and enjoy the activities starting Friday evening.
- May 21: Ride of Silence – On May 21, 2014 at 7:00 PM, the Ride of Silence will begin in North America and roll across the globe. Cyclists will take to the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often isn’t aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves. Join us at Trailhouse for the start of our local Ride of Silence, a slow procession of about 6 miles. Helmets required.
- May 26: Tracey Yeager Memorial 5k – In memory of Tracey Yeager, a friend who loved bicycling, the trails, and being outdoors, our friends at Tracey’s Trails will again be hosting the Memorial Day event to raise funds for local trail initiatives in the community.
- May 27: KCV Cycling Club Monthly Meeting – join us for our monthly club meeting to find out the latest news and updates on infrastructure, education, and activities going on in the community. This month, we welcome guest speakers Tim Devlin and David Wildman who will be sharing about their Continental Divide Ride coming up in June to raise funds for the 2nd Mile Missions orphanage in Bavaro, Dominican Republic.
If you plan to enjoy National Bike Month, but would like even more confidence in your bicycling abilities and understanding of the rules of the road to enjoy bicycling year round, check out our Confident City Cycling class on June 7, 8am-3pm at Warsaw City Hall, taught by Bike League Certified Instructor, James Bausch.
We hope to see you outside on your bike this month. Join the movement and become part of the Ride + Walk initiative!
Okay, maybe “strange” isn’t the right word… How about the new normal? KCV Cycling Club is proud to announce a new monthly club meeting format including guest speakers and educational/social opportunities.
In addition to having fun and discussing club business, we will now feature a different guest speaker(s) and topic at the beginning of each meeting to get things rolling.
We invite the entire community to join us at our next meeting on May 27th, when we are proud to host Tim Devlin, David Wildman, and Mason Geiger. Tim & Dave are riding their bikes along the Great Divide Route to raise $25,000 for the 2nd Mile Missions Orphanage in Bavaro, Dominican Republic. Mason Geiger of Mason Geiger Photography & Film will be traveling along to create a documentary of the journey.
Tim and Dave have committed to ride from the Mexico boarder starting at Antelope Wells, NM and will ride 2,740 miles to Banff, AB through the Rocky Mountains in 34 days or less. They will tell us all of the details of how they are preparing for this grueling ride, from their physical training, to what they plan to eat and drink, along with how & what they pack to carry with them on their bikes. For more info on the Tour Divide -Tim and Dave, join us at the May meeting to meet the riders or visit their website.
What else is discussed at the monthly club meetings? All things cycling: road riding, mountain biking, local events, such as the KCV-produced Fat & Skinny Tire Festival, racing, advocacy & community involvement, trail use & maintenance, education, and anything else involving two wheels and pedals.
The KCV Cycling Club welcomes all on the last Tuesday of each month (except December) at 8:00 pm in the Mad Room at Mad Anthony’s Lake City Tap House in Warsaw. For more info on the KCV Cycling Club, join us at the May meeting or surf around our site. You can also find us on facebook and twitter.