Off the Beaten Path Bike culture grows as SEK promotes cycling
Randy Rasa has found a new hobby: dropping by the trailhead for the Lehigh Portland Trails just to peek at the cars in the parking lot.
Their license plates hail from all over – from every county in the area and from surrounding states. Think Missouri, Texas and California. Their diversity, Randy says, is indicative of a trend happening in Allen County. A surging bike culture is taking root, thanks to several first-class trails, a new bike shop and a novel bike share programB.
And it’s not just Allen County. There are communities of cyclists all across Southeast Kansas, and they’re coming together more often these days. PedalSEK is convening area cyclists for 12 rides in 12 months in 12 Southeast Kansas counties, and the new ABC Trails project is mapping out a tri-county trail system connecting Allen, Bourbon and Crawford counties.
“Cycling – and trails in general – have grown so much in these areas,” says Lisse Regehr, deputy director of outreach and advocacy for Thrive Allen County, the nonprofit responsible for Iola’s bike share program and several trails. “This is an opportune time to take advantage of that…”
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