Lake Erie Cyclefest and Erie’s Blues & Jazz Festival Team-Up for Four Days of Riding, Music and Entertainment
Erie, PA: The Erie Sports Commission is pleased to announce Lake Erie Cyclefest will add two new rides to its second annual event, as it partners with Erie’s Blues & Jazz Festival, creating a packaged Rhythm and Ride Weekend. The event will kick off Thursday, August 2 and feature six total cycling events through Sunday, August 5.
Proceeds from Lake Erie Cyclefest will once again benefit EmergyCare, WQLN and the YMCA of Greater Erie. Representatives from each organization, as well as VisitErie, the Erie Sports Commission, Erie Arts & Culture, Erie County and City of Erie announced the updated event at a press conference on Tuesday, March 20.
Two new rides, the Good Morning Star Shine Ride and Oscar the Grouch’s Gravel Grinder, will add to the four-day event, which will also include a new feature in The HUB, a place for riders to relax at Erie’s Blues & Jazz Festival. Riders will be able to register for rides at The HUB, which will also feature beer sampling from Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing and a BikeErie hosted bike corral. The HUB will be open from Friday, August 3 to Sunday, August 5.
Lake Erie Cyclefest will kick off its four-day event with the new Good Morning Star Shine Ride, let by Jet24’s “Good Morning Erie” host Traci Teudhope. Teudhope will lead cyclists on a loop around Presque Isle State Park at daybreak on Thursday, August 2.
The second ride, the BikeErie Slow Roll, will be held the evening of Thursday, August 2 in Downtown Erie. Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper and City of Erie Mayor Joe Schember will lead the fun, slow tour of Erie. The BikeErie Slow Roll will end with live music in Perry Square at an Erie Downtown Partnership Block Party.
The YMCA Jelly Jar Ride will be held Friday, August 3, beginning at Shades Beach Park in Harborcreek. The 25- or 50-mile non-competitive ride will wind through the Lake Erie grape-growing region, and conclude with a picnic featuring wood-fired pizza from Brooklyn Pizza and beer samples from Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing. All proceeds from the Jelly Jar Ride benefit the YMCA’s Food + Fun Bus, a mobile meals site for kids.
EmergyCare’s Tour de West County, Erie County’s premier bicycle tour, will provide four scenic ride routes on Saturday, August 4 departing from Lake Erie Community Park. The event, with a long-standing tradition of spectacular routes and safety support, will offer a 12-, 25-, 50- or a 100-mile loop of Erie County, ending with a picnic. All riders will receive tokens for beer sampling at The HUB.
The second new ride, Oscar the Grouch’s Gravel Grinder, will be held Sunday, August 5. The early-morning 25-mile ride begins at Lake Erie Speedway and follows a dirt and gravel route on road and trail to and around eastern Erie County’s Eaton Reservoir.
The final ride of the weekend is the WQLN Alley Cat Ride on Sunday, August 5. The scavenger hunt themed ride is the only bike race, beginning and ending at Frontier Park. Cyclists will be given the race’s first stop location, where the race’s remaining nine stops will be revealed. Cyclists will be tasked to determine the best way to connect them, and the first three riders to return to Frontier Park will win prizes. The ride will end with beer sampling from Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing and music at Erie’s Blues & Jazz Festival.
Prices for each ride vary, with discounts offered to riders based on the number of rides entered.
“Our inaugural year was so amazing and our riders gave us great suggestions to add to the experience this year. Many of those suggestions – including the additional rides and the HUB – have been added this year’s event,” said Tom New, President of WQLN. “Multi-day ride discount packages have also been added to our ride fees so that we are encouraging riding and staying in Erie for the weekend. Teaming up with Erie’s Blues & Jazz Festival is a natural fit for Lake Erie Cyclefest, as it is a longstanding green event that emphasizes environmental awareness by encouraging comprehensive recycling, walking, cycling, and public transportation, and by championing its beautiful setting in the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier (LEAF).”
“Lake Erie Cyclefest was a great success in its inaugural year, drawing more than 600 riders to experience our county by bicycle,” said Ron Sertz, Executive Director of the Erie Sports Commission. “In partnering with Erie Arts & Culture to create Rhythm and Ride Weekend, Lake Erie Cyclefest will be an even more enjoyable event for out-of-town cyclists and locals alike. WQLN, the YMCA of Greater Erie and EmergyCare have truly created an event that offers not only scenic rides for cyclists of all skill levels, but also a weekend-long experience that showcases the best our region has to offer.
Erie’s Blues & Jazz Festival is one of the largest free, outdoor music festivals of its kind in the region, highlighting tremendous national, international, and regional talent all on one Mainstage. Each year, the Festival engages close to 20,000 residents and visitors and is reported by audiences to be a tradition for their families, friends, school reunions and company social events.
“We’re excited to work with our partners to present Erie’s popular Blues & Jazz Festival and the Lake Erie Cyclefest on the same weekend, positioning Erie and the region as a destination for arts, culture, entertainment and recreation for locals and visitors,” said Amanda Brown Sissem, Executive Director of Erie Arts & Culture. This year’s Festival won’t disappoint with three days jam-packed with arts activities and outstanding performances for the entire family! Frontier Park will be alive with art exhibits, workshops, lectures, engaging children’s activities, and performances; it will serve as a great hub for socialization for cyclists.”
For more information, including ride times and registration information, visit www.eriecyclefest.org.