Memorial and Veterans Day, 2018

As we approach the Center’s first anniversary we had a chance to do something memorable this past week. The action had more to do with our overall mission of providing bikes to those who have need for transportation than it did regarding the national holiday. but still it was a nice coincidence.

We received a call from Valor Home in Lorain inquiring if we could help out a vet-client who walks a few miles each way to his job. The voice said he really could use a bike. We said send him in and we’ll see what we can do.

A couple vets showed up a few days later and politely introduced themselves as being from Valor Home. We talked a while to get a measure of which type of bike would best fit the need. We found one and asked him to take a test ride, mainly to make sure it fit well and that he could manage the gears and hand brakes. He did super.

He asked how much it cost and we said, “no cost.” We could tell by his expression that he was surprised and not accustomed to this. We said he should keep it at the home and share it with others as they need to get around also.

So often we hear how our vets are treated poorly and their needs overlooked. We saw an individual who already gave, so we decided to give back.

Actually it was our community that gave back to him. The bike came to us from the community. We breathed new life into it and now that community gift rides on, giving an important person the dignity and mobility he has earned many times over.

We do not often give bikes away like that but in this instance it seemed quite appropriate.

Elyria Ward Rides

Elyria Bike Center is proud to co-host the new Ward Rides throughout the city this summer. Below we have listed some of the detailed information not available on the flyer.

2018 Ward Ride schedule and poster

What is a Ward Ride? Ward rides were created to give residents a way to enjoy some time in their city – in their own neighborhood – while riding along with city officials, as well as your friends and neighbors. We’ve had similar rides before and those who rode always remarked how really nice and interesting our city is. This is also a chance to ride with people whose names you hear or read about but never get to know very well. This is a chance for all of us to see where our town shines and where it can use some help.

Do I have to preregister for the ride? No, preregistration is not necessary. We will ask that each participant fills out an information and waiver form. We need to know who all is on the ride. We might contact you later for an evaluation of the event.

How long will the rides be? Each ward ride will be about 5 to 10 miles long, with frequent stops so we can stay together as a group. The time for each ride will depend on its length and how many stops are made. Allow for about one to one and a half hours for the ride.

Will we ride on busy roads? The busiest roads will be avoided but we will not ride on sidewalks. Sidewalks are for pedestrians. On occasion we may need to briefly ride on a road that has some traffic so we can get to selected areas. This cannot be avoided. Mostly our routes will be on quiet side streets.

Who are the ride leaders? The volunteers leading the rides are experienced cyclists who love riding and have done this before. Each is an Elyria resident. Each is also a member of the Elyria Bicycle Advisory Committee. They understand your concerns for safety and traffic and will offer guidance when needed. We plan to stop often and discuss situations and road conditions and how easy or difficult it is to ride your bike in that area.

The flyer mentions maps. How will I get one? Maps will be handed out at the ride and they will also be made available here on this website. That way you can preview the route or print the route for later use. If you are adventurous, you might try to ride in each of the city’s seven wards over time.

What if it rains on that day? No rain dates are scheduled. If it is raining lightly we will probably still ride. We never ride in thunderstorms.

Will we be covering the entire ward on each ride? No, not at all. In fact, in some wards we will be creating a number of routes. For the purpose of these rides, we prefer to not cross very busy roads. Ward rides will be scheduled on other dates – probably in future years – so we can cover more territory. Maps will be available here on this site.

Will water be available? Some bottled water will be available at the start of each ride. This is provided by Bike Elyria.

Do you require helmets to be worn? We highly recommend but do not require riders to wear helmets. Experienced cyclists always wear helmets because they know what can happen when you land on your head in a fall. A helmet offers 85% more protection against brain injury in the event of a fall.

What if I fall and get hurt? As a participant you need to understand the possible dangers of any sport, including even casual bicycling. Falls happen. The ride leaders will carry some limited supplies for you to self-administer any first aid. This is mostly for scrapes.

I’ve never ridden with a group before. How is it different from riding alone? There are some differences of course. Mainly what you need to do is be more cautious when coming near another rider. Never try to pass a cyclist on the right side. Communicate with others when you are coming up near them or passing, or stopping. Try to anticipate what the other rider will be doing.

Are children allowed to ride? We recommend kids age 10 or older for a ride like this. They usually have more control and have the energy to go the distance. Each child must be accompanied by a responsible adult – that adult must maintain control over the youngster’s riding. A ride like this is not a time for tricks, wheelies, riding with no hands or other showing off. If you plan to bring your child to the ride, be sure to explain this to him/her. Tricycles and training wheels are not suitable for these rides.

I ride a modified bicycle. Is that permitted? Maybe, but it depends on how safe the bike is. Any bike on these rides must conform to safety standards for brakes and the ability to maintain control on the road and at stops. Many modified bikes are simply not safe on the road, even though they are interesting to look at. The ride leader will make a decision if a bike is fit to ride on this event.

Who can I call for more information if I have questions?                                                                                                                                  Call Ed Stewart at 440-365-6784 or 440-315-3012.

My bike is in need of repair. Where can I go to get it ready? If I need a bike, is there any available? Most bike shops in the area will be able to help you get your bike ready. Professional shops are located in Vermilion, Avon Lake and Oberlin. The Elyria Bike Center on Middle can help also.