The Medina County Bicycle Transportation Task Force, known as Bike Medina County, hosted its third annual Lake to Lake Harvest Bike Tour on Saturday.
“The first year we had 50 cyclists, the second year we had 100 cyclists, and this year we had 140 cyclists,” event organizer and Century Cycles employee Lynne Nawalaniec said during the event.
Nawalaniec was thrilled to see the event’s success and credits its growth to the dedicated volunteers she works with.
With the help of 25 volunteers and a partnership between the Medina County Park District and Friends of Medina County Parks, the bike tour offered options for different cycling levels. For experienced cyclists, there was a 32- or 50-mile route, while a 15-mile route was available as a more casual, family ride.
Patrick Gwynne, 69, of Medina, completed the 50-mile route in two hours and 56 minutes.
“It was hot and humid, but the event was extremely well organized,” he said.
Gwynne said he typically bikes about 3,500 miles per year, and this was his second time participating in the Lake to Lake Harvest Bike Tour. He said he helped scope out the roads and paths for difficulty and safety prior to the day’s event.
All money raised during the event will be used to promote bicycle safety in the county through improved signage, expanded trails and special events.
In addition to helping create an updated bike map for Medina County, the task force is working to get more “3-foot law” signs posted throughout the county.
These signs remind drivers that the minimum safe distance drivers must leave between their vehicles and a cyclist when passing is 3 feet.
“We believe that with an increase of interest and love for cycling, there will be an increase in caution and safety when people are operating cars with cyclists on the roads,” Nawalaniec said.
In addition to being more alert, cyclists are encouraged to wear helmets, brightly colored clothing and have flashing lights attached to their bikes when riding.
Bike Medina County vice president Tim Smith said he was pleased with the number of attendees at this year’s event.
“Not only do we have a lot of new participants, we have a lot of returning cyclists who have participated in the tour all three years,” Smith said. “We have people of all ages here; the oldest attendee is 84. The great thing about cycling is that anyone can do it.”
The Medina Police Department, Medina County Park Rangers and Lafayette Township Fire Department were all in attendance to help ensure safety on the roads.
The task force group was formed by volunteers in 2016 and meets the first Thursday of each month. For information about joining the organization or getting involved, visit bikemedinacounty.weebly.com.