Goshen News, Goshen, IN

TGN Bloggers

May 9, 2014

Bike trails await all sorts of cyclists

GOSHEN — Conditions have been sunnier and balmier for First Fridays events in downtown Goshen. Still, an overcast sky and chilly temperature failed to make the most recent festival any less enjoyable — for this reporter, at least.

May 2 marked the annual criterium races downtown, with bicyclists utilizing strategy and speed in quest of victory during closed-loop racing. In keeping with tradition, the criterium was a delight to watch. And again this year, a particular Goshen News writer was asked a crit-related question:

Are you going to ride in it?

Short answer: No.

I’m asked this because friends and acquaintances know I’m a cycling enthusiast. Note, however, the earlier use of “strategy” and “speed” in describing crit racing. My cycling owes more to “non-competitive” and “not in any big hurry.”

The crit run winners May 2 knew the feeling of triumph and heard cheering onlookers. My cycling apex was less cinematic.

It occurred years ago when I was stopped at a downtown intersection waiting for traffic to clear. A group of young men was passing by in a car. As the travelers approached, their fists pumped skyward out the vehicle windows in emphasis as they sang “BI-cycle! BI-cycle!”

It’s not every day a recreational cyclist hears lyrics from Queen’s “Bicycle Race” yelled in his general direction. Better that than “Another One Bites the Dust,” certainly. Suffice it to say I smiled.

Allusions to Queen aside, I’m not a bike racer, and my guess is there are plenty of other cyclists in Goshen and surrounding communities who fit that same bill. To paraphrase Freddie Mercury and crew, we just like to get on our bikes and ride.

We don’t lack for opportunity. Thanks to the drive and foresight of local bicycling advocates and county and municipal planners, this area is rich with developed, linked bike trails. The paths beckon cyclists who are speedy, pokey or somewhere in between.

What’s available? Consider the following merely a short list:

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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Daniel Riordan has been writing for newspapers since he was 16. Previous newspaper stops include Warsaw and Plymouth. He joined The Goshen News in March 2013 and is enjoying getting to know the city. He has up to this point been able to resist any urge to watch cat videos on YouTube.

I am a journalist for The Goshen News in Goshen, Ind. I handle regional news and am the digital content editor.

Shelly Wilfong is the director of the International Baccalaureat Degree program at Goshen High School in Goshen, Ind.

David Vantress is sports editor at The Goshen News. He is a 1994 journalism graduate of San Diego State University. David has opinions and isn't afraid to share them.

Sam Householder is the chief photographer at The Goshen News. He is a 2010 graduate of Ball State University, with a bachelor's degree in photojournalism. He lives in Goshen with his fiancee, Ashley, and their cat, Rascal.

Roger Schneider is city editor for The Goshen News. He enjoys bicycling, fishing and photography.

Scott Weisser is entertainment and emergency services editor for The Goshen News.