As fall finally arrives in Middle Tennessee, the Autumn Community Bike Ride will be celebrating the changing colors of the leaves and cooler temperatures with a family friendly bike ride through McMinnville.
This will be the second community bike ride of the year with the first taking place Sept. 29. According to Katie Kemezis, the community planner for the city of McMinnville, the event is continuing to grow and be successful. This month’s event will be held this Sunday, Oct. 20, from 3 to 5 p.m. with participants meeting at Riverfront Park. The next ride will take place Nov. 17.
“We had 20 riders during our last event, and that’s grown from 10 before,” says Kemezis. “We had faces we’ve never seen before there, and I heard a lot of folks saying they weren’t able to make this one, but they will make the next one. People are seeing it and responding.”
Every age is welcome to bring bicycles, tricycles, training wheels and even recumbent bikes to spend an hour taking in the fall scenery and enjoying community togetherness. The bike ride is not a race, but focuses on locals spending time together while riding one of two routes. The ride will be led by Bike McMinnville volunteers through the different trails.
The first route is an easy ride for children, families and new bikers to go back and forth on the greenway trail. For others who are more advanced, they can extend the route by continuing the ride to Pepper Branch Park.
A second route is available for experienced bikers seeking a more challenging ride. The 7.5-mile ride begins at Riverfront Park continuing to Warren County High School and returning back to the park. The route to the high school will pass through Westwood, while the ride back will pass through West Riverside.
“This event is to create an opportunity for people to get together and bike ride. It can be a community and social activity so we’ve personally made a route to be family friendly,” says Kemezis. “The hope is to bring people together and get people in McMinnville to enjoy biking.”
Following state rules, all riders under 16 must have a helmet. Materials will be given out regarding the rules of biking on the road, different routes available in McMinnville and tips for new riders.