Bike Fun Report: Maple Ride

A gorgeous Fall afternoon provided the setting for lots of Bike Fun this past Saturday afternoon as 25 Poky Pedalers participated on the Maple Ride.

Upon arriving at Iverson Park, maple-themed adornments were available for Poky Pedalers to decorate their bicycles. Suitably ornamented, the Maple Ride was ready to begin.

Setting out from Iverson, our quest was to seek out and ride on streets named Maple. After riding the length of nearby Maplewood Drive in Park Ridge, we then traveled east to visit the neighborhoods behind Target and Fleet Farm. During our journey, we encountered Maple Bluff Road, South Maple Bluff Court, North Maple Bluff Court, and Maple Grove Court. We gleefully rode on each of these streets, experiencing the beauty that Maples display in the Fall.

We also enjoyed the colorful display from the many trees that lined our path.

Halfway through the ride, we stopped at Eastwood Park for a brief rest. While many of us enjoyed a small snack, one child who traveled in their parents’ bike trailer enjoyed the opportunity to check out the playground equipment.

Our route provided the opportunity for Poky Pedalers to discover that this part of town is safely accessible by bicycle. The sidepath along Main St/Hwy 66/Hwy 10 that took us from Iverson Park to the far side of I-39 does have its drawbacks. But by walking our bikes across a few of the more troublesome (but signalized) intersections, we discovered that Poky Pedalers can indeed travel across I-39 and feel safe.

The return route included the multi-use path under I-39 connecting the Portage County Business Park to Joerns Dr. For many on the Maple Ride, this was the first time they had ridden on this wonderful car-free connector that was built a few years ago. This connector enables a very pleasant bicycle ride from the Patch St area just south of downtown Stevens Point to the Hostel Shoppe (and their fine collection of recumbent bicycles) in the Portage County Business Park.

We completed our 12-mile loop by returning to Iverson Park via the gravel path from Patch St. We ended up sharing about 3 hours of Bike Fun while appreciating many Maples (both streets and trees) in our urban area.

The Maple Ride was the final event on the 2012 Bike Fun Calendar. But Poky Pedaling Stevens Point will be creating more Bike Fun once Spring returns. Planning for the rides on the 2013 Bike Fun Calendar is already well underway.

Between now and then, the PPSP website will continue to have new blog posts and Tweets that share bicycle-related stories of local interest. I hope these kindle the flames of bikeyness within you until the Spring when we’ll once again share Bike Fun together.

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