Bike Fun reached new heights last night on the first-ever Poky Pizza Pedal. A pleasant early-evening attracted 33 (!!!) Poky Pedalers as we kicked off the 2014 Bike Fun Calendar as part of Dust Off Your Bike Week.
Our crowd of Poky Pedalers and their bikes filled the sidewalk in front of Point Area Bicycle Service where we gathered. John, the owner and expert mechanic at PABS, cheerfully filled tires with air and answered questions Poky Pedalers had about their bicycles. I appreciate the assistance we got from PABS to ensure all felt comfortable with the condition of their bicycles prior to riding.
As with all Poky Pedals, we reviewed basic traffic rules and tips before heading out. Poky Pizza Pedals involve a slow 4-mile bike ride on calm streets and non-motorized paths ending at a downtown pizza place. This inaugural Poky Pizza Pedal took a route across the Clark St bridge and toured the portion of Stevens Point west of the Wisconsin River.
While bicycling on Green Circle trails and calm streets, the most alarming “cross-traffic” we encountered were the 3 deer that ran in front of us on the trail between W River Dr and W Zinda Dr. We were treated to outstanding scenery along the river, through the forested areas, and around the west-side neighborhoods. All this, and we were never more than about a mile-and-a-half from the heart of downtown Stevens Point.
Our lengthy bicycle train drew lots of attention as we rode back over the Clark St bridge, along the riverfront path in Pfiffner Park, and upon neighborhood streets on a route towards Main St. Our chorus of bike bells elicited cheering from those gathered on their lawns. As we rode by, someone walking towards us asked if we were Poky Pedalers and expressed her excitement to encounter us.
Our band of Poky Pedalers ranged from old to young and slow to fast. Bicycles included recumbents, adult tricycles, a tandem, trailers carrying children, old Schwinn road bikes, newer fancy city bikes, and more. Yet these differences didn’t matter as we all bonded to share Bike Fun. About half of those who came were on their first Poky Pedal, and this was essentially a group a strangers meeting for the first time. The community that instantly formed among this disparate group is certainly notable. That Bike Fun provided the catalyst is more notable still.
Bike Fun continued after arriving at Bill’s Pizza, our destination for this Poky Pizza Pedal. Bicycles filled the nearby bike rack and overflowed to other downtown locations. Poky Pedalers gathered for a feast around a huge table setup in their banquet room upstairs. All were engaged in noisy conversation as the staff from Bill’s patiently got all our orders and later brought us our food and drink. I want to heartily thank the staff at Bill’s Pizza for hosting us and our Bike Fun.
Every Poky Pedaler I spoke with was delighted with their evening of Bike Fun. Although every Poky Pedal must come to an end, the good news is that there are plenty more to come. The 2014 Bike Fun Calendar has the scoop on all the Bike Fun you can enjoy with PPSP through October.
Your next opportunity for a Poky Pedal is Tuesday May 20 on the monthly Poky Pedaling Potluck Picnic. The following Saturday May 24 is the Chocolate Ride. And the Poky Pizza Pedal will return each month through August riding different routes to different pizza places each time.
I figure Poky Pedalers from last night are spending today rearranging their schedules to make room for all the Bike Fun to come. And if you weren’t there, then you certainly don’t want to miss another memorable Poky Pedal like last night’s.
The 2014 Bike Fun Calendar is available here. If you want to know more about what to expect on next week’s Poky Pedaling Potluck Picnic, read this page. And keep an eye on the PPSP front page and blog, as well as my Tweets, for more information about the Chocolate Ride and all upcoming Poky Pedals.
Words cannot express how much Bike Fun I enjoyed last night. I’m looking forward to sharing more Bike Fun next week and throughout the summer with all Poky Pedalers.
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