A combination of great weather and growing enthusiasm for cycling in Carson City is getting getting people out there on their bikes, and the ride with Carson City’s Leaders on May 7th was no exception.
This annual Muscle Powered event has really grown, since we first started doing it in 2008. The first year we rode with Supervisor Shelly Aldean to work in an effort to showcase a couple bike routes, and demonstrate that one could ride a bicycle safely across town. The following year, a few more riders attended, and we escorted Mayor Bob Crowell to work.
In 2011, we invited the Mayor and the City Supervisors, and we took them out for a ride around Carson’s west side on tandems. Even though the ride ended in a near white-out blizzard, the group had become quite large, and we all had a blast. We were no longer trying to demonstrate to the leaders that cycling was fun and practical. They already knew this, and they were there to show the community.
Muscle Powered decided to step it up this year, and not only did we invite the Mayor and City Supervisors, but the Sheriff, School Administration, Parks and Recreation, Carson City Health and Human Services, and other leaders in our city. All people that have an interest in creating a safe community for cycling, and promoting a healthy and active lifestyle. And they showed up!
Working with law enforcement was something rather new for Muscle Powered, and was even an area that the League of American Bicyclists mentioned that we were deficient in when we applied for a Bicycle Friendly Community status. It was so great to see Sheriff Kenny Furlong participate this year. And not only did he participate, but he was very enthusiastic and provided comic relief along the ride. At one stop he yelled out, “Someone stole my bike!”, and he wasn’t shy with the siren on his police issue Cannondale either.
The Sheriff brought along a few bicycle cops as well. You would think that with law enforcement along, there would be strict adherence to the rules of the road. As it turned out though, the bicycle cops rode ahead, blocked the intersections for us, and let us ride through without stopping. Just like a parade. I wonder if these guys are available for my morning commute? I could definitely shave off a couple minutes!
This year’s route began at Telegraph Square. We made our way over to King Street, then north on Ormsby for some scenic views of Kings Canyon, Ash Canyon Road to Winnie, then made our way back to Telegraph Square. It was an easy pedal, but enough to work up a bit of an appetite for lunch. You couldn’t have asked for better weather for the ride either.
When we arrived back at Telegraph Square, the KOLO TV Crew was waiting for us. We took one more loop around the block for them, dinging our bells all the way, and then parked the bikes.
A big thank you goes out to all of those at Muscle Powered who organized the ride! Thank you to the Nevada Appeal and CarsonNow.org for your continued coverage of our events. Most of all though, thank you to our city’s leaders who took the time out of their busy schedules for the ride, and for continuing to make this community a great place to live!