Spring has sprung and community bike rides are back in the Capital City.
The Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department's first community ride of 2022 sets off at 10:30 a.m. Saturday from the North Jefferson City Recreation Area on Fourth Street.
The 10-mile route -- led by certified cycling instructors David Bange and Jim Coleman -- travels east on Mokane Road before connecting to the Katy Trail and wrapping up back at North Jefferson City.
Kevin Schwartz, JC Parks outdoor recreation program manager, said community rides are meant for all skill levels, but for this first ride of the season, the North Jefferson City route is especially ideal for children and newer riders because, unlike a lot of Jefferson City, it avoids most hilly areas.
"It really gives new riders or those looking to get back into riding an opportunity to learn more about active transportation initiatives and to see more of Jefferson City from the perspective of a bicycle, which will allow you to see more of the community than you can from a car," Schwartz said. "And it also encourages people to use parts of the trail they maybe didn't know existed."
Community bike rides, which are free, take place monthly from March through November with differing routes, days and times to attract the most riders. All rides are led by certified instructors and take around an hour and a half to complete.
"It's all a part of an ongoing, grassroots goal to make Jefferson City more bicycle friendly," Schwartz said.
For more information on the March ride and to plan for future events as details become available, visit the JC Parks Facebook page.