The Great Plains Trails Network (GPTN) invites everyone to celebrate National Bike Month in May by participating in the annual Tour de Lincoln bicycle rides.
Last year’s rides were canceled due to high numbers of COVID-19 cases, but not this year as GPTN is once again sponsoring the Thursday evening bicycle rides that take participants to different quadrants of Lincoln.
GPTN plans to host the rides with safety precautions in place due to COVID-19. All rides start and end at the Jayne Snyder Trails Center, 228 N. 21st St. (21st and Q streets), at Union Plaza Park beginning at 6 p.m.
New this year is the Southwest route, which will give riders an opportunity to bike over the new GPTN Connector Bridge near Densmore Park.
Bike rides are scheduled each Thursday in May as follows:
May 6 – Southwest Tour de Lincoln, 13 miles;
May 13 – Northwest Tour de Lincoln, 12 miles;
May 20 – Southeast Tour de Lincoln, 15 miles; and
May 27 – Northeast Tour de Lincoln, 16 miles.
Members of GPTN's board of directors will lead each ride, provide mechanical support and make sure no riders are left behind. Refreshments will be available before the start. The rides vary from 12 to 16 miles each and acquaint bicyclists with different trails, conditions and features. People of all ages are invited to participate.
“We try to feature different trails whenever possible during Tour de Lincoln rides,” said event chairperson Mary Torell. “The most important thing is to expose bike riders to all quadrants of the city and allow them to discover Lincoln’s great trails system. Our network of 135 miles of trails continues to grow, and these rides give people an opportunity to see portions of the city and trails other than where they may live.
"We encourage people to get out and explore the trails and have fun.”
Participants must wear helmets for this and all GPTN-sponsored cycling events. In addition, to comply with the Health Department’s safety requirements, GPTN board members will use the following guidelines at this year’s bike rides to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
Volunteers and participants will use hand sanitizer, wear face coverings unless they are riding their bicycles, and maintain social distance. Participants should maintain 6-foot separation between parties. Volunteers and participants will be provided hand sanitizers at the event. Volunteers will make sure participants comply with sanitary policies, social distancing and wearing masks whenever they are off of their bicycles.
The rides will include drawings for refreshments from The Hub Café (next to the Jayne Snyder Trails Center).
No fees are required. More information on the rides, route maps and safety guidelines are all available at GPTN.org. Any weather cancellations will be announced on Facebook and on GPTN's website.