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TOLEDO MAGAZINE

Rolling into 2017: Local cyclists start the year on two wheels

  • MAG-bikerace01p-Adam-Slough-of-Waterviile

    Adam Slough of Waterviile competes in the Fat Bikes Division during an 8-mile time trial race Jan. 1 at Providence Metro Park in Grand Rapids, Ohio.

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  • MAG-bikerace01p-kathy-metzger-and-jim-binns

    Kathy Metzger, left, of Martin, on a fat bike, and Jim Binns of Blissfield on a cyclocross bike compete in the time trial.

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  • MAG-bikerace01p-Cyclists-gather-at-the-starting-line

    Cyclists gather at the starting line before an 8-mile time trial race Jan. 1 at Providence Metro Park in Grand Rapids, Ohio. This was the first of two races in the Winter Quest series sponsored by Cycle Werks and Toledo Metroparks.

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  • MAG-bikerace01p-A-cyclist-waits-for-his-turn-on-the-trail

    A cyclist waits for his turn on the trail.

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  • MAG-bikerace01p-Pete-Hustwayte-of-Toledo-pops-a-wheelie

    Pete Hustwayte of Toledo pops a wheelie on his fat bike after his time trial.

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  • MAG-bikerace01p-Roseanne-Peiffer

    Roseanne Peiffer of Maumee warms up before the time trial.

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  • MAG-bikerace01p-Medals-made-out-of-bicycle-chains

    Medals made out of bicycle chains were given out as awards during the time trial.

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  • MAG-bikerace01p-Cyclists-gather-before-the-race

    Cyclists gather before the race.

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  • MAG-bikerace01p-Matt-Thourot-of-Whitehouse

    Matt Thourot of Whitehouse finished first in the Men’s Cyclocross Division.

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  • MAG-bikerace01p-cyclsit

    A cyclist heads out on the trail during an 8 mile time trial race on New Year's Day at Providence Metro Park in Grand Rapids, Ohio.

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  • MAG-bikerace01p-Roseanne-Peiffer

    Roseanne Peiffer of Maumee heads toward the finish line during the race.

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Jan. 1 was a perfect day for a bike ride. The temperature hovered near 40, the wind was manageable, and there wasn’t a snowflake in sight.

So, in the midst of winter, 50 adults and children gathered at Providence Park in Grand Rapids, Ohio, for a series of timed bike rides that took them to Bend View Metropark in Waterville and back again — eight miles in all.

The fastest riders took 30 minutes; the slowest somewhat longer. But organizers say winning wasn’t the point of the outing, despite medals and cash prizes from co-sponsors Cycle Werks and Metroparks Toledo. “We had over 50 riders, though only 49 competed,” said Julie Theroux, who co-owns Cycle Werks shops in Whitehouse and Bowling Green with partner Jon Hoag. “Everyone was so happy to be out celebrating New Year’s day because we had such beautiful weather. The mood was high energy.”

As well it might be for this second annual race. Last year, the wind chill was minus 30 degrees, and 30 riders still participated. As a fitness enthusiast (she’s competed in nine Ironman Triathlon, and partner Jon Hoag in “more than he can count”), Ms. Theroux said her company sponsors several biking events throughout the year to promote enjoyment of the sport.

“Biking is growing in popularity. You’re finding that a lot of Baby Boomers are graduating from golf or running into activities like biking, especially as more Metroparks are putting in bike trails,” she said. “People are finding activities they can do with the whole family, but there’s an enthusiast crowd as well, [those] who ride between 30 and 100 miles” at a stretch.

“More and more people really want to challenge themselves, and I don’t see any end to that,” Ms. Theroux predicted. “With the addition of new bike trails and the 3 foot law just passed (the distance cars must stay from cyclists when passing), you’re going to see a lot more commuters riding their bikes to work.”

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