It was a beautiful day to ride a bike.
Mayor Jeff Gowing and a group of about 20 riders, and one roller-blader, took to the Row River Trail for the second year of the Mayor’s Bike Ride. While last year’s ride in September battled the heat and smoke from wildfires, this year’s trip began with clouds before the sun started to peek through.
The ride started downtown and went to the Mosby Creek Trailhead where participants were treated to ice cream sandwiches, granola bars and some brief bike safety reminders. But the goal of the event was simple.
“Just get out and be active,” said Gowing. “We’ve got all winter to sit on the couch and watch TV.”
Gowing puts on the ride to remind residents of the 16.5 mile trail that is well-utilized by not only people in Cottage Grove but by individuals across the county and even the state.
“It’s just letting people know that we have such a valuable asset with this bike trail. It brings, you know, a lot of revenue to the city. And you know, it creates a healthy lifestyle to get out and exercise,” said Gowing. “Just experience the trail. When you’ve got something in your backyard like that, you should take advantage of it.”
After being sore from last year’s ride, this year Gowing prepared for the ride by biking 2.5 miles to work each day. From Gowing to Jim Harrison who is leaving for a bike trip across Europe next month, the riders on the day greatly varied.
Also in attendance was Horst Hittenberger and his grandson Tyler who were there to just enjoy the ride.
“And just getting out, it’s nice, good opportunity to do something,” said Horst. “And the bonding. And you know, he needs a little exercise. He’s a very good chess player but it’s a sitting down job. It’s nice company.”