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Nighttime is right time for riding

From left, Marty Takagi, Ann Scott, Robyn Jones and Paula Kay have a conversation last Saturday evening at the Palace City Pedalers Annual Membership Picnic at Kiwanis Park. (Justin Harned/The Daily Republic)

The Palace City Pedalers are always trying to get in another ride.

Last Saturday evening, members and prospective members of the Palace City Pedalers convened at Kiwanis Woodlot Park, where the club held its annual summer picnic. The club has been in existence for 20 years.

In addition to the picnic was the Moonlight Ramble. The group of 25-plus bicycle riders left Kiwanis Woodlot Park a little after 9 p.m. They traveled down Indian Village Road transferring from North Ohlman Street to South Harmon Drive, looping around to West Harmon Drive and North Harmon Drive, going around the north side of the lake to Highway 37 and heading south back into town, where they made their way to Kiwanis Woodlot Park on West 23rd Avenue. President of Palace City Pedalers Dwight Scott said the route isn't always the same but the group always enjoys it.

A tour of the new pump track course was available to bicyclists, as well as the dirt trails surrounding Lake Mitchell. Although portions of the pump track needed to dry off before being used, kids were able to ride some of the dry areas of the track.

In addition to having fun, it's also the goal to keep kids safe, said Scott.

"We require helmets out here on the pump track," Scott said. "If somebody can't afford one -- I've already given out some helmets, we have a few more to give out, if somebody can't afford one we'll get one for them."

The Moonlight Bike Ride is meant to be a social event for anyone who likes to ride bicycles.

"That's what the Palace City Pedalers want to do, promote bicycling for health and family fun," said former Palace City Pedalers President Marci O'Connell.

The Palace City Pedalers would like to get in one Moonlight Bike Ride event once every month from spring until fall. Also, scheduled rides are on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. starting at the Wellness Center at Avera Queen of Peace, with times subject to change. Single Track Sundays begin at 2 p.m. at Kiwanis Woodlot Park. Details on scheduled rides are emailed out to Palace City Pedalers members and information can be found on the group's Facebook page.

Kiwanis Woodlot Park has seen a transformation over the years, and Tom Dice, who says he rides his bike along the trails often, thinks the park is being utilized more than ever with the addition of the pump track -- making good use of the entire area.

"There was one kid I was talking to, he was 19 or 20 and said 'If they had this pump track four to six years ago, I would have been out here 24/7," Dice said.

Cody Denne is in his third year being a member of the Palace City Pedalers club and has missed only one Moonlight Ramble bike ride. Denne said he thinks the Palace City Pedalers promote the event pretty well. Cody, who also helps his father Mike Denne run Ron's Bike Shop, said most of their business comes in the beginning of spring for tuneups, including people preparing for the Moonlight Rambles.

"I like doing whatever the bike club does," Denne said. "Moonlight Ramble is a blast."