COLUMBIA — Adjusting their young ones’ helmets, mothers urged their children not to use up too much energy before they started the seven-mile Mother’s Day Weekend Bike Ride on Saturday afternoon. Beaming mothers watched as their children waited to begin the journey from Twin Lakes Recreation Area to Flat Branch Park and back as part of the final event of Bike, Walk and Wheel Week.
More than 25 adult and child riders participated in the guided ride. Walt’s Bicycle, Fitness and Wilderness Co., one of the sponsors of Bike, Walk and Wheel Week, supplied bicycles, trailers and helmets for free to those who registered in advance and needed equipment. It also supplied ride and technical support in case of injury or bike malfunction.
“The event was for people to sit on a bike that didn’t have one, and hopefully for people to meet other individuals that have similar interests or similarly aged kids that could call them up for a bike ride later in the season,” said guide Janet Godon.
The event was really about the moms, though. Many mothers planned well in advance for the family event, and the children were happy to be there, too.
“I signed up so I could get all three of my kids out with me,” said rider Kelly Hottel. With her kids quickly growing into teenagers, she was excited to spend some quality time with them.
When the riders reached their halfway point at Flat Branch Park, they were greeted with daisies for Mother’s Day. The moms looked on as the smaller children played in the playground or spray park.
Nancy Muskopf, who participated in the ride with her three children, said she heard about the ride through her daughter’s school.
“We go on the trail in the summer, but it is neat to go in an organized, different group of people,” she said.
Muskopf wasn’t only accompanied by her children, though. Her husband, cousin and sister-in-law also came along. Many families, in fact, considered it a family event.
“I think the novelty and the themes of the rides so far have been really fun,” said Mark Bendel, a Walt’s employee who distributed bikes on Saturday. “It adds something different to just a normal ride. It gives somebody an opportunity to get involved that may not have thought about riding before.”
Several other guided rides are planned for the summer months. Upcoming events include an informative ride on May 24 about making one’s way to the grocery store via bike, a ride on June 11 that teaches new ways to get to MU, and a Catfish Corner Road ride on June 21.
“Hopefully people enjoyed the festival and will want to get their own bike,” Godon said.