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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Think spring!

Today is the first day of spring. Woo-hoo!

Although we're expecting some late-winter temperatures for Easter weekend here in Belleville, Ill, the tide is gradually turning. It's time to be thinking about group rides. Here's some St. Louis area rides to whet your appetite:
  • The Belleville Area Bicycling and Eating Society opens its 2008 season of Wednesday Evening Rides on April 2. During April, our rides will start at the Metro East Parks and Recreation Center headquarters, 100 United Drive in Collinsville, and we'll be riding the Madison County Trails system. We'll meet at 6 p.m. and take off at 6:15, although people may leave earlier if they want to get more miles in.
  • Trailnet's Bicycle Fun Club opens its 2008 season on Sunday, April 13, with the Prairie Pedal Bicycle Ride in Hamel, Ill. Hamel is a small community just off Interstate 55 about 7 miles north of Edwardsville. Registration is from 8:30 to 10 a.m.
  • The Team HopeRide for a Cure will take place Saturday, April 26, in Maryville, Ill. This fund-raising ride for the American Cancer Society includes routes of 13, 26 and 62 miles on the Madison County Trails system. Registration will take place from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the First Baptist Church of Maryville. The cost of the ride is $15 ($20 day of ride) for adults and $40 ($50 day of event) for families. for more information and to get a flier, contact Mike Green at mjgreen6@charter.net or call Dean Mc Peak at 618-920-3418 or Robin Warfield at 618-781-1075.
  • Early registration is strong for the Tour de Stooges on Saturday, May 3, at the ride's new home, Lindendale Park in Highland, Ill. The cost of the ride is $30 for adults and $20 for children, and if you pre-register for the ride, you will get a T-shirt in addition to lunch, rest stops and slapstick comedy. Tour de Stooges is the opening event of the Gateway Council of Hostelling International's new series of recreational rides, which includes the Strawberry Fields Forever ride on May 24 at Eckert's Country Store in Belleville.
  • For those of you who love to ride centuries, the Gateway Council's 5-Star Century Series gets started Saturday, May 17, with the Indian Crossing Century in Portage des Sioux, Mo., and continues with the Flat-as-a-Pancake Century on May 31 in New Baden, Ill.
  • Finally, there's The Gerry Frierdich Road to Recovery Bicycle Ride on Sunday, June 1, in Belleville. The ride is a fund-raiser for Gerry Frierdich, a Belleville photographer who was paralyzed from the chest down when a pickup truck struck his recumbent bicycle on Aug. 19, 2007.
If you know of any other great spring rides that people should know about, feel free to post them in the comments.

It's time to get out and ride!

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