By Jenny White, Velo Kids
I scream, you scream we all scream for … a bike ride! Ok, ok, we can’t forget about the ice cream, too – evveryone’s favorite part.
For the last six years Velo City Cycles, Velo Kids, Hudsonville Creamery, and the Holland Police Department have partnered in hosting a community Ice Cream Bike Ride around downtown Holland. The ride historically starts at Velo City Cycles and is led by members of the Holland Police Department and Velo Kids coaches. Cyclists of all ages ride around Windmill Island and back to the bike shop where everyone enjoys free ice cream.
We were uncertain how and if we could possibly hold a bike ride with the current COVID conditions, but are so excited that, yes, there will be a DIY (do-it-yourself) Ice Cream Bike ride on Wednesday, July 22.
Instead of riding together as a big group, we are encouraging cyclists to do their own bike ride around Holland. While out on your ride, stop by Moran Park (515 Maple Ave., Holland) anytime between 6:30 and 8 p.m. on July 22 for free ice cream, thanks to the Holland Police Department Polar Patrol.
All ages, all speeds and all styles and brands of bikes are welcome to ride. There will be a bike obstacle course for kids to practice their cycling skills. Velo Kids coaches will be handing out bike safety booklets to all young cyclists. Helmets and closed-toed shoes are recommended.
“I have been able to participate with the Ice Cream Bike Rides for the past couple years now,” said Holland Police Officer Adam Sokolove. “The ability to connect with people and promote law enforcement on a different level and show the community that we are human beings also has always been a benefit to these rides.
“To see the love for exercise and bike riding along with fellowship at the same time is what makes these Ice Cream Rides necessary regardless of the situation. Being able to still do the ride and be mindful of social distance guidelines adds another small sense of normalcy in today’s time.”
Social distancing will be practiced at the park, and all coaches and volunteers will be wearing masks.
It has been incredible to see how cycling has emerged to a new level during the pandemic, nationwide and also here in Holland. You have probably noticed the increased number of cyclists. We encourage you to explore your local roads, paths and parks by bike.
“Beyond owning a bicycle, the next most important factor to feeling comfortable with commuting by bike is gaining first-hand experience on your local roads, bike paths and trails,” said Martin Harris, a Velo Kids coach. “Exploring casually with your family is a great way to get that familiarity and have fun at the same time!”
Dig out those bikes from your garage and let’s ride and eat some ice cream!
If you’re looking for a good route around downtown Holland, this seven-mile route highlights Kollen Park, Windmill Island and many of the bike lanes around town:
The City of Holland bike network can be found here: https://www.cityofholland.com/227/Maps-Resources
The Macatawa Area Coordinating Council non-motorized transport infrastructure is also a great resource: http://www.the-macc.org/transportation/nonmotorized/
Or discover off-road trails in Ottawa County Parks: https://www.miottawa.org/Parks/recreation.htm#bike
Jenny White and her husband, Brad, have been the owners of Velo City Cycles since 2013. She, along with other kid-loving, bicycle-riding friends started Velo Kids in 2017. Jenny and Brad have three kids, who also now love riding their bikes.
This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme
Transportation: The movement of people, goods, and services within the area is an evolving system that links us to our regional, national and global networks.
ABOUT THIS SERIES
Living Sustainably is a collection of community voices sharing updates about local sustainability initiatives. It is presented by the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute, a joint project of Hope College, the City of Holland and Holland Board of Public Works. Go to www.hope.edu/sustainability-institute for more information.