Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser and Mayor John Antaramian have a challenge and a suggestion for bicyclists of all ability levels.
The challenge: Trade your car for two wheels during Kenosha County’s Bike-to-Work Weeks, June 1-15.
The suggestion: Take precautions to ride safely, and drive safely when around bicyclists, during Bike-to-Work Weeks and throughout the year.
“This is a great time of the year to get out and see Kenosha County on two wheels,” Kreuser said. “You’ll get some exercise and you’ll view our community in a different way.”
This year, Bike-to-Work Weeks will begin with a new event: A communitywide Bike Rodeo, to be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 1, at the Kenosha Moose Lodge, 3003 30th Ave.
This free event aims to promote bike safety and safety on trails for people of all ages. It also includes an optional organized ride on trails from Petrifying Springs Park to the Moose Lodge, as well as the Kenosha Police Department’s annual bike auction.
The rodeo, like Bike-to-Work Weeks, is a collaboration between Kenosha County, the City of Kenosha and other partners. Kreuser and Antaramian promoted both events during a news conference Friday afternoon on the south leg of the Kenosha County Multiuse Trail, at 89th Street and 30th Avenue.
“City or county, we’re all one community, and our trails and bike routes reflect that interconnectedness,” Antaramian said. “A great example of this is the city’s Pike Trail and its connection to the county’s Academic Trail. Between the two, bicyclists can ride – safely – from downtown to Carthage College, to UW-Parkside and Petrifying Springs Park, and beyond.”
Kreuser encouraged people to take advantage of these amenities, particularly during Bike-to Work Weeks.
Those who cycle to work between June 1 and June 15 have the opportunity to win prizes in the Bike-to-Work Weeks contest, Kreuser noted. Riders may submit one entry for each day that they bike to work.
Entries are to be submitted online at http://www.kenoshacounty.org/bikecontest. Winners will be drawn at random. Prizes include bicycle-themed clothing, bike equipment, gloves, bicycle tune-ups, and more.
The June 1 Bike Rodeo event will offer free bike safety checks by Total Cyclery and Southport Bikes & Boards, safety classes presented by the Kenosha County Sheriff’s and Kenosha Police departments, and food. A new bike, donated by Wal-Mart, will be raffled off. The Police Department’s bike auction – a popular annual event – will begin at 11 a.m.
Participants in the organized ride will get a free hotdog and chips at the Moose Lodge. Others may purchase meals for $2, with proceeds going to the Kenosha Police Explorers.
Those interested in the organized ride to the Moose Lodge should meet in the Highway JR parking lot at the southeast corner of Petrifying Springs Park at 9 a.m. The programming at the Moose Lodge begins at 9:30.
“This will be a fun, educational way to kick off our bicycling season,” Kreuser said.
The Bike Rodeo is presented by Kenosha County, the City of Kenosha, the Kenosha Bicycle Ambassadors and Bike Kenosha.
Bike-to-Work Weeks are supported by the county executive and mayor, the Kenosha County Board, the Kenosha City Council, the Kenosha Bicycle Ambassadors and the Kenosha County Multiuse Trail Committee. Total Cyclery and Southport Bikes and Boards are also major sponsors.
A few safety tips for bicycle riders:
- Wear a helmet.
- Wear bright clothing and use bike lights.
- Ride with traffic, not against it.
- Use hand signals and follow all traffic laws and signals.
Some safety tips for bicycle-friendly motorists:
- Allow at least three feet of space when passing bicyclists.
- Don’t park or drive in bike lanes.
- Check for bicyclists before opening your door.
And, finally, a tip for riders and drivers:
- Put down your phone! Distractions can kill.