Popular bike ride changes destination, but keeps a scenic route

August 29, 2018

SCOTTSBLUFF — Get your bikes in gear for the YMCA Monument to Monument bike ride as it heads out in a new direction this year.

The annual Monument to Monument bike ride has traditionally been a 100-mile round-trip bike ride between the Scotts Bluff National Monument and Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. While the ride is popular, there are only a few die hards who make the complete trip. Many complete the 50-mile portion only.

The committee for the event got together to determine the best way to get more people involved in the event. They decided on a 50-mile route that would take them south to Harrisburg before turning around and returning to the monument. The shorter route will allow new people, who cannot ride as far, to also participate.

“They (the committee) don’t want to scare off the riders because they see 100 miles and think they can’t do that,” said Lola Gonzales, community engagement director. “The committee wants to see a lot more people participate and, for a lot of people, they can do that 50-mile ride and have a lot of fun.”

Many riders who participate in the spring Community Bike Ride are accustomed to a 25- or 50-mile ride. The event will have a sag wagon for whatever issue comes up.

“Even if you ride 25 miles and can’t come back, we will bring you back,” she said. “Let’s say you got there and got a cramp or an emergency phone call, we will have someone who can pick you up and bring you back.”

Participants can ride whatever type of bicycle they have. Gonzales said the route is safe and all bikes should see a smooth ride on the road. The event is not a race, but a time to ride through beautiful scenery and enjoy fellowship with fellow riders, she said.

“This is such a nice, safe ride,” she said. “Join in and enjoy the camaraderie.”

Gonzales said that, while the ride is open to anyone, those under 18 should have an adult with them.

“We want to attract the younger riders,” she said. “Just come in and participate, and have fun in a healthy program.”

On the day of the event, riders will depart from the Scotts Bluff National Monument at 7 a.m. and ride 25 miles to Harrisburg, the halfway point. A sag wagon will be waiting for them with refreshments. Riders will turn around and ride the same route back to Gering, but turn down Avenue M to gather for lunch at the Gering Runza. Once lunch is over, riders will return to the monument.

Registrations for the Monument to Monument bike ride are open until Sept. 10. Riders can sign up at the Scottsbluff Family YMCA front desk at 22 S. Beltline Hwy E. Riders will leave the Scotts Bluff National Monument at 7 a.m., on Saturday, Sept. 15. Cost is $10 and includes lunch. For more information, stop by the Scottsbluff Family YMCA.

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