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Bike the Bend

Registration opens; Cyclists from many states expected to ride
Bike the Bend, a non-competitive recreational ride through the vehicle-restricted streets of South Bend, Mishawaka and St. Joseph County, will be bigger and better for participating bicyclists in its third year on Sunday, May 20, 2012.

Organizers are expecting 2,700 bicyclists from Indiana and surrounding states will ride at least a portion of this year’s 35-mile round trip from 6:30 to 11:30 a.m. as they wind along the St. Joseph River from St. Patrick’s County Park to Monkey Island in Mishawaka’s Eberhart-Petro Golf Course. That’s up from nearly 1,700 riders in 2010 and 1,926 registrants from seven states and 17 Indiana counties in 2011.

“Because the streets are closed to vehicles and anyone can ride side by side, Bike the Bend is a ride people like to come to because it’s family friendly. Children ride free with an adult registrant,” says Jeanne Blad, event director. “With a route that winds along the St. Joseph River through picturesque parks, historic neighborhoods, urban venues, college campuses and area attractions, it shows many of the features we have in our community.”

Bike the Bend is the vision of Louise E. Addicott, who envisioned families and friends being able to ride side-by-side at their own pace, enjoying their community and time spent together. Presentedby The Louise E. Addicott and Georgina Joshi Foundation and supported by local sponsors, units of area government and more than 200 volunteers, the 2012 Bike the Bend features several new elements:
• Special activities atSAG (Support and Guidance) stops -
o The Northern Indiana Center for History and the Studebaker National Museum will open at 9 a.m. with special events and displays, including Studebaker cars, and a chance to ride through the grounds.
o Howard Park will have a Children’s Bicycle Rodeo from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., organized by the Reducing Obesity Coalition of St Joseph County.
o Indiana University South Bend will feature music, art and other activities extending from campus over the bridge to the student residences.
• Each adult registrant will receive a Summer of Fun 2012 Passport, which features a variety of activities and events in our communitythroughout 2012 and early 2013. Special discounts and incentives are available only to Passport holders. Each page will be hand-stamped by participating organizations to record the Passport holder’sparticipation. Like a US Passport, the Summer of Fun Passport will become a colorful souvenir of the fun and memories created while participating in the activities.The Summer of Fun Passport is a joint project of Bike the Bend and South Bend FLOW, a Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County’s Leadership Team.
• The Post-Ride Festival, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Park, will feature music, inflatable amusements, Kids Zone activities and nature walks organized by the St. Joseph High School Swim and Dive team, and three BMX demonstrations (10 a.m.,noon and 1 p.m.) by professional BMX competitor Brett “Mad Dog” Banasiewicz of South Bend.

For those not wishing to bike to the Post Ride Festival, shuttles buses (school buses) will take registered riders to and from St. Patrick’s Park for the Post-Ride Festival. Shuttle buses will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with stops at Merrifield and Beutter parks in Mishawaka, Indiana University South Bend 20th Street parking lot and the Pfeil Innovation Center, Niles Avenue and Cedar Street, South Bend.For out-of-town visitors, overnight camping is again available at St. Patrick’s County Park. Register by May 16. Also, Bike the Bend has arranged special rates for registered riders at the Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, 52825 Ind. 933 N., South Bend. Please go to www.bikethebend.com for more details on camping and hotel accommodations.
• The annual pancake breakfast is back, and once again, hosted by the Mishawaka Lions Club, from 7 to 10:30 a.m. at St. Patrick’s County Park on Bike the Bend Sunday.

South Bend’s weather for May 20 typically features normal high temperatures of 71 degrees and low temperatures of 49 degrees.
Early registration is open (www.BiketheBend.com) and continues through midnight Saturday night, April 28. Cost is $27 per adult (18 and up). Children (ages 17 and under) ride free with a registered adult. Adults receive a moisture-wicking riderT-shirt, wristband (admission to pancake breakfast, SAG stops, festival events) map and Summer of Fun 2012 Passport. For children, T-shirts do not come with registration, but are available for $10. Online registration continues through May 16 but to guarantee a T-shirt registrations need to be received by April 28. Those registering by April 28 are also entered into a drawing to win the use of an outdoor suite (for up to 16 people) to watch a South Bend Silver Hawks baseball game at Coveleski Stadium.

Bicycle helmets are required for all participants.

Packet pickup is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at Coveleski Stadium, 501 W. South St. The day will feature demonstrations by the Spin Zone Cycling Team and the Michiana Ultimate Frisbee League along with displays by local bicycling groups.

It is the goal of Bike the Bend that any excess profits from the bike ride be reinvested in the community to maintain, enhance and improve bicycling opportunities.For more details, visit www.BiketheBend.com or call (574) 204-2458.

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