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Pedal Pushers

Organized rides in the Queen City

By Sidney Cherie Hilley · May 2nd, 2013 · Cover Story
bike_ubbcPhoto: 5CHW4R7Z
From the Eastside to the West End, recreational bicycling groups are popping up around the city. And if you’re apprehensive about bike riding again as an adult — either for safety reasons, lack of city riding experience, fear of cars or you just don’t know where to go — roll up to an organized ride. They’re always welcoming new cyclists of different skill levels and have leaders who can help you learn bike safety, etiquette and, sometimes, mechanics. For a comprehensive, updated list of rides and cycling activities, visit Queen City Bike at queencitybike.com.

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Thursday Night Slow and Steady Ride
“The idea is that it’s a community ride and there isn’t a leader. It’s people coming together to ride their bikes,” says Michael Providenti, Slow and Steady rider and board member of MoBo Bicycle Cooperative, a Northside-based nonprofit dedicated to making cycling accessible to everyone. The ride meets at Hoffner Park (4101 Hamilton Ave., Northside) and makes a loop downtown, sometimes into Northern Kentucky, and returns back to base in Northside. This ride is best for people who are just getting back on their banana seats, with knowledgeable cyclists available to teach urban riding signals and to help with possible mechanical malfunctions. 7:30-10 p.m. Thursdays. mobobicyclecoop.org.

Reser Bicycle Rides
This bicycle outfitter provides service, products, education and promotion for all types of cycling — road, mountain, commuter — through its two locations: 648 Monmouth St., Newport and 1419 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine. They also offer organized rides such as their Tuesday Night Road Ride, which is open to all bikers (including beginners), and leaves from their Newport store location for a 15-35 mile ride with varying routes.

They’ve also been known to offer full moon night rides. 6:15-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays. reserbicycle.com.

Urban Basin Bicycle Club
For the more experienced city rider interested in rolling up for a closer look at Cincinnati’s unique urban and architectural splendor, the Urban Basin Bicycle Club ride kicks off at Fountain Square and chooses a path that begins and ends in Downtown/OTR (aka the Urban Basin). Sometimes this includes soaking in the sights at the Serpentine Wall, admiring the Art Deco details found on historic buildings or breathing in the summer air outside the bustling Gateway Quarter. Rides generally end at a neighborhood bar. Search Urban Basin Bicycle Club and join the Facebook group for details. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays. queencitybike.com.

Cincinnati Cycle Club
This is where to find a complete calendar of the daily grind in Cincinnati’s cycling world with multiple weekly rides. In May, there are organized rides for every level, and each description lists the ride’s mileage and average pace. Examples are the 20-mile No Brainer Beginner-Intermediate Ride, 6:15-8:15 p.m. Mondays through Ludlow, Ky.; the 35-85 mile Crazy-8 Ride fast-paced jaunt for experienced cyclists, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays; and the leisurely Decaf CHCC Ride through College Hill, noon-3 p.m. Sundays. cincinnaticycleclub.org.

Sister Cycles Unite Ride
Sister Cycles is a 11-week course out of MoBo (1415 Knowlton Ave., Northside) that “builds the community of women on bikes,” according to Nern Ostendorf, creator of Sister Cycles and executive director of Queen City Bike. Students can enter the class without any previous mechanical experience and graduate with a toolbox of knowledge. “It’s awesome being in a whole room full of women doing mechanics and helping each other out,” says Debbie Reichler, graduate of Sister Cycles. “It was a really nice atmosphere and energy, a great environment to learn.” Sister Cycles Unite Ride invites all ladies on a ride from 6-7:30 p.m. May 24. Leaves from MoBo. mobobicyclecoop.org.

Montgomery Cyclery Ride
In the business since 1965, this local chain carries the largest selection of bike brands in Cincinnati. They also offer a 30-mile street safety and fitness ride through the country and city for all levels. Leaves from the Beechmont store (8483 Beechmont Ave., Beechmont). 9:15 a.m. Sundays. montgomerycyclery.com.

Queen City Bike and Dine
Eco-friendly guru and owner of Park + Vine, Dan Korman, combines a group bike ride with the two most popular social activities — eating and drinking. Start at Park + Vine (1202 Main St., Over-the-Rhine) for a quick air and brake check before departing on a bike tour of downtown restaurants and bars. Coast from restaurant to restaurant and sample Cincinnati’s vegetarian, vegan, meat and booze offerings at various establishments, rain or shine. $25 non-refundable tickets. Proceeds benefit Queen City Bike. Helmets required. Next ride is scheduled for noon, June 1. parkandvine.com. 

Bright Ride
Parading downtown twice a year, the “Bright Ride” looks like a luminescent brigade of cyclists decorated in blinking lights — kind of like the Festival of Lights in motion. The ride takes place during the winter and summer once the sun goes down. This is a ride that gets created randomly as a Facebook event. Check for the next one in August.

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
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