FLINT, MI – Friends of the Flint River Trail will begin its regular Sunday bicycle rides through Flint starting May 5. Rides are held Sundays through October starting at 2 p.m. at the Flint Farmers’ Market. In the first trip of the season, riders will pedal about 10 miles from the Farmers’ Market to Stepping Stone Falls, 5161 Branch Road, and back, weaving through UM-Flint and Mott College campuses. Other typical routes have riders cycling north along the Flint River to Bluebell Beach, 5500 Bray Road, and a 17-mile round trip heading northeast into Genesee Township for ice cream.
Rides usually span 10 to 12 miles with a short break in the middle and light refreshments at the end. The Sunday rides are free of charge and no advance registration is required. Riders must bring their own bicycles. Friends of the Flint River Trail strongly encourage riders to wear helmets. Jack Minore, co-chair of the Friends of Flint River Trail, said last year there were nearly 40 riders every Sunday from all over Genesee County, living in about 25 to 30 different zip codes.
“Michigan has more miles of bike riding trails of any other state in the union,” said Minore, a board member of Flint River Watershed Coalition and Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance.
Some riders had the opportunity to see deer and fox along the Flint River to Bluebell Beach last year, Minore said. “People don’t realize there is a nice, rustic part of the river,” he said.
Friends of Flint River Trail .JPG Sunday riders gather near Bluebell Beach in Flint during last year’s bike ride kickoff event. Photo courtesy Linda Johnson-Barnes Minore, who has been on about 800 rides since Friends of The Flint River Trail started the events 15 years ago, said the rides are family-oriented and flow at a leisurely pace.
“I like it because we’re introducing people to good bike riding,” he said. Friends of the Flint River Trail hosts “Third Saturday Rides,” on the third Saturday of every month of the ride season, with the first one starting May 18 at 10 a.m. on the Southern Links Trail beginning at Columbiaville Trailhead in the village of Columbiaville in Lapeer County. The ride is about 20 miles in length.
A Flint River Trail cleanup is also scheduled for Saturday, April 27, at 9 a.m. Those interested can meet at Veteran’s Park on James P. Cole Boulevard. Garbage bags will be provided by Keep Genesee Beautiful, and lunch will be provided by HealthPlus and Kroger and Meijer Pierson Road locations.
Questions about rides can be directed to Bruce Nieuwenhuis at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jack Minore at email@example.com. Further information can be found at the Friends of the Flint River Trail website.