Riding into a New Season

Following the Painted Path


Tuesday, March 19th, was the last day of winter and with temperatures in the upper 50’s it was a perfect time to take a brand new bicycle out for a spin on the brand new Lamar Loop.

First Riders

A group of middle and high school students from Lamar joined with Byron Hall, President of the HOPE Coalition to peddle a few miles around town, the culmination of a plan that began with students repairing old bikes several years ago, to a point where donated bikes can be loaned for kids and families up for some outdoor exercise.

Breaking Away!

Just prior to the initial ride, Hall was making sure the rider fit the bike, measuring leg room and finding a safety helmet that was the correct size. “We have some less expensive helmets that were donated for the project and I don’t like to have shared helmets for riders,” he explained.  Hall said future riders receive a card that will be marked with each ride they take and those rides add up to points which can be redeemed for more expensive equipment such as helmets, gloves and other accessories.

Tuesday’s ride was only about 5 or 6 miles, just a jaunt around the block for a young group, but he plans to develop a team that can knock out 30 miles in one venture, preparation for a team that will take part in the September Pedal the Plans event coming to southeast Colorado.

Grant funds are paying for more bikes and other forms of outdoor recreation equipment. Each school in Lamar will receive a storage trailer capable of holding several bikes and other forms of sports gear.  The use will be free of charge for either a single user or a family can make arrangements to check out several bikes for one outing.  It’s all part of a comprehensive plan to get more residents into the great outdoors through various GoCO grants secured by the City of Lamar through the Parks and Rec Department and other health organizations.

The recently donated bikes don’t have kickstands, so Hall is looking for a bike stand to give him more storage room at the Lincoln Center. The bikes make use of paddle shifters off the handle bars for 17 different speeds and they come with disc brakes.  The tires are also specially constructed to roll on a gravel surface along with pavement.

Tuesday’s ride started from Lincoln School on North 10th and went west on Maple Street, connecting with the newly constructed Lamar Loop.  The group’s travels took them over to Oak and 14th where they connected to the green belt loop which ran in back of several houses  and back to the Lamar Canal where they had several options for the remainder of their route.  The City of Lamar has been painting bike riding lanes around town, following the Loop’s path.  The riders will convene for a weekly ride every Tuesday afternoon at 4:30pm at Lincoln School and younger riders will require written permission in advance from their parents.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarEntertainmentFeaturedHealthPublic SafetyRecreationSchoolSportsTourismTransportationYouth


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