The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

June 22, 2013

United Way to hold bicycle tour Aug. 17

Star Beacon

— Whether you ride your bicycle a hundred miles a week or haven’t put air in your tires in a long time there is a bike ride for you during the United Way Bridges & Vines Bicycle Tour on Saturday, Aug. 17.

The United Way is sponsoring rides of 12, 25, 39 and 62 miles on that day and everyone who owns a bicycle is invited.

All rides will begin and end at the South River Vineyards in Harpersfield Township.  The routes will be on flat to rolling lightly traveled roads, past picturesque vineyards, through some of our historic covered bridges and along the Grand River.  Most rides will also include a portion of the scenic Western Reserve Greenway Trail.

Proceeds from the event will support a program of the United Way and public libraries in Ashtabula County that provides free books to preschool children.  The program was created to insure that more young children will have the benefits of books and develop a love of reading and enter kindergarten ready to learn.  Nearly 600 Ashtabula County preschoolers are enrolled in the program.  The entry fee of each rider will provide enough funding to give 12 books to a child.

Randy Jones, director of the United Way and a cyclist sees other benefits.  

He said, “Ashtabula County is a terrific place to ride a bicycle.  Many of our roads are very scenic, have little traffic and the terrain is not too challenging. I hope that we can encourage more people to get on their bikes.”

The cost of the event is $25 before Aug. 10 is you are guaranteed to receive an event T-shirt.  Cost after that date and the day of the event is $30.  Registration will open at 8:30 am on the day of the event and rides will begin at 9:30am.  All riders will be required to wear a helmet.

Those interested can register online through the United Way website at unitedwayashtabula. org  where you can also find information on the free books program.