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story.lead_photo.caption News Tribune fileBiking instructors give an overview of the community bike ride before embarking on the 10-mile journey on July 18, 2020.

With sunny skies ahead, kick off the start of spring Saturday morning with a bike ride.

The Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department is hosting its first community bike ride of 2021, starting and ending at the North Jefferson City Outdoor Pavilion. The free event begins at 9 a.m., and parking is available by the multi-purpose building.

The 10-mile loop is fairly flat and follows the Katy Trail and Old Highway 94, so there will be very little traffic, making it a family-friendly event for all levels of cycling expertise, said Phil Stiles, the special events program manager for JC Parks.

The ride will also feature two certified instructors, David Bange and Jim Coleman — one at the lead and the other at the end of the group of riders.

“This is really the perfect event for (new riders and children),” Stiles said. “The instructors will give tips on how to be safe on the streets as well as be safe cycling in general.”

This is the second year for the community bike ride series, which runs monthly from March through November — rain or shine, with the exception of severe weather.

Stiles said it has been a fairly popular event with around 50 riders participating in the kickoff last year. Being outside where physically and socially distancing are a bit easier has allowed the event to continue despite the pandemic, though Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Cole County Health Department guidelines will continue to be followed.

The route changes each month, Stiles said, so check the JC Parks website or Facebook page for maps and additional information.

Contact the department at 573-634-6593 with any questions.

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