Portsmouth’s Connex group has had a busy spring of events, from paddling evenings to peddling functions. They’re succeeding in their mission of getting people active in the community and are now sharing and inviting community members to the latest addition to their event rotation, the Tour de Portsmouth.
“Join your friends and neighbors on Thursday evenings for a roving community ride through the city,” Connex’s Logan Minter said during the launch of the event. “Each week, we’ll begin and end a ride with a different community partner or business and celebrate. Bikes of all types and riders of all skill levels are welcome. If you would like to borrow a loaner bike from Connex, please contact a board member at least the day prior, but know we require helmets. Routes will vary and adapt to participant interests.”
Minter has been involved with Connex heavily in recent years. He is behind the planning of Tour de Portsmouth and believes it offers a lot to the community, not just riders of all age and capacity.
“The Tour de Portsmouth is this year’s version of our community ride series. In the past, we’ve done pop-up cruiser rides across town. This year, we decided to make it a roving event that will be able to highlight locations and businesses throughout the city,” Minter said. “I think it encourages people to get outside, be active, and offer a little incentive to move and check out different places we have around town, so the intent it two-fold in that regard. We are going to welcome all riders, whether they are single-seat cruisers or mountain bikes or kids bikes, road bikes, it doesn’t matter.”
Minter, who is very involved in the community, likes being able to engage people in the community in many ways. He sees many benefits to the new ride when it comes to making those engagements.
“I think it helps build the community across the board,” Minter explained. “It encourages people to try a new activity or life sport, because they can pedal for years to come and also be more active, which has health benefits, and even helps with our community and economics as far as being able to visit new places and be able to help new partners and businesses within the community.”
So far, the group has highlighted many businesses in six weeks, including Stadium Lunch, Port City Café and Pub, Pizza Pub, The Lofts, Portsmouth Brewing Company, and Ollie’s Burgers and BBQ.
“So far, we’ve been very excited by the turnout,” Minter said. “We’ve had new riders each week and many have borrowed bikes from Connex, since they’re just starting to get into it. We’re definitely seeing increased interest in Connex activities and bicycling. We’ve heard a lot of positive feedback with more excitement from people wanting to get into cycling further.”
Connex also offers bikes to new riders on loan.
“Connex also has a small loaner fleet that people can borrow from if they just want to try it out,” Minter said. “We just ask that someone wanting a loaner to request it the day before.”
Tour de Portsmouth is only one of dozens of events offered throughout the year by the organization to get people active in the community through bicycling, paddling, walking, hiking, and more. In coming months, they have many events scheduled, from their monthly Full Moon Kayak Floats, to hiking schedules, and even a monstrous Wild Ride event in Shawnee State Park. Follow them on Facebook for more information on their events.
“I think that Tour de Portsmouth is a good opportunity to engage the community,” Minter said. “It is a little different. Other cities have community rides, but, rather than do the exact same thing and duplicate it, we think we are offering a unique flavor with our plans and our business partners are excited to welcome riders and highlight and showcase what they have to offer the city.”
Due to Boneyfiddle Project’s Music and Motion weekend event, Tour de Portsmouth will next be held on a Saturday, May 27, at Three Bridges. Departure time will be 3:30 p.m.
Additionally, there will be an intermediate ride into Kentucky at 1 p.m., which will be a 25-mile loop.
After Music and Motion, they will return to Thursday evening bike rides, with the following date to be determined. Follow their Facebook page for those details.
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved