Erie, PA: Lake Erie Cyclefest returns Thursday, presenting a remarkable journey through Erie County's roads, trails, and beaches. This year, all six rides will offer something new for cyclists, ranging from new routes to new experiences along the way.
The annual event, sponsored by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and AHN Saint Vincent Hospital, offers rides of varying length, difficulty and on different surfaces, providing opportunities to ride for cyclists of all levels. From Thursday night to Sunday afternoon, hundreds of bicyclists will connect in Erie County, participating in six rides hosted by local nonprofit organizations Asbury Woods, Because You Care, Inc., Bike Erie, Erie Downtown Partnership, Northern Allegheny Mountain Bike Association, and Presque Isle Partnership.
Information and routes for all of the rides can be found at www.lakeeriecyclefest.org. The schedule for the weekend is as follows:
Lake Erie Cyclefest Downtown Slow Roll – Thursday, July 27
Hosted by Bike Erie and Erie Downtown Partnership: check-in begins at 5 p.m., ride begins at 6 p.m. at the Perry Square Stage
The 10-mile family-friendly slow roll will take cyclists through the City of Erie. The ride will end with a vendor fair and concert from Phunkademic with special guests SANIS in Perry Square. Registration is free but pre-registration is required.
Grape Escape Ride – Friday, July 28
Hosted by Because You Care, Inc.: check-in begins at 7 a.m., rides begin at 8 a.m. at Shades Beach Park
The Grape Escape Ride starts and ends on the shores of Lake Erie at the beautiful Shades Beach Park in Harborcreek. Participants will toast the morning’s successful ride with Mazza Wines providing wine and beer samples and food from Vintage Wood Fire Catering food truck. Registration for this event closes today.
Tour de West County – Saturday, July 29
Hosted by Asbury Woods: check-in begins at 7 a.m., rides begin at 8 a.m. at the Asbury Woods Nature Center
Tour de West County is one of the area's oldest recreational bike rides, offering ride distance options of 12, 25 and 50 miles with a new route for the 50-mile ride. All rides will begin and end at the Andrew J. Conner Nature Center at Asbury Woods and will feature a post-ride picnic for registered bicyclists. Registration for this event closes today.
Six Mile Creek Classic – Saturday, July 29
Hosted by Northern Allegheny Mountain Bike Association: check-in begins at 1 p.m., rides begin at 2 p.m. at the Trails at Six Mile at Six Mile Creek Park
The Six Mile Creek Classic will offer mountain bikers the opportunity to race on the Trails at Six Mile at Six Mile Creek Park in Harborcreek. Expect woods and hills in the six-mile loop! Riders will complete between two and three laps depending on their class: beginner, youth, sport, clydesdale, expert, and single speed will be offered. Registration will be available at the event for an increased fee.
Presque Isle Sunrise Ride – Sunday, July 30
Hosted by Presque Isle Partnership: check in and rides begin at 6:15 a.m.
Cyclists will have the opportunity to become one with the sun at Erie's most popular tourist destination, Presque Isle State Park, during the Presque Isle Sunrise Ride. New this year: participants are invited to enjoy a special sunrise tour of the Presque Isle Lighthouse and climb the tower between 6-8 a.m., included with your registration! The ride will be hosted at the end of Discover Presque Isle. The flat, 13-mile loop features water views on both sides and is one of the most spectacular routes in the region. The ride will start at the Beach 1 Pavilion, and all registered cyclists will be given a ticket to the Discover PI Pancake Breakfast at the Rotary Pavilion. Registration will be available at the event.
See Spot Ride, Ride for Animal Rescue – Sunday, July 30
Hosted by Because You Care, Inc.: check-in begins at 8 a.m., rides begin at 9 a.m. at McKean Elementary School
See Spot Ride, the fourth annual Because You Care Ride for Animal Rescue will take place on the lovely back roads of McKean Township. The picturesque countryside offers beautiful routes with varying terrain, including options for a 40-, 25- and 10-mile ride. Routes will begin at McKean Elementary School and finish at the Because You Care Adoption Center with a casual "Pawty" including food trucks, beer, and music. Spot will be ready to greet participants and introduce them to their adorable, adoptable friends! Registration for this event ends Friday.
Lake Erie Cyclefest is presented by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and AHN Saint Vincent Hospital, with further support from the Erie Sports Commission, Presque Isle Downs & Casino, VisitErie, Erie News Now, and WQLN Public Media.