Portsmouth’s Connex group had a busy spring, summer, and fall full of events, from paddling evenings to peddling functions to community hikes. They’re succeeding in their mission of getting people active in the community and only recently closed the 2023 chapter of their latest creation: 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 was excited by the results of Tour de Portsmouth.
“It went pretty well,” Minter said. “Most weeks, we had 15 to 20 people. The businesses were excited to see new people all the time. Some of the people joining us had never been on a bike or hadn’t been on one in some time. It is a multifaceted event, which gets people out and active, which is part of Connex’s mission, but it also builds community and our business community. I was very pleased with it.”
Minter has been involved with Connex heavily in recent years. He was 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 was 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 explained. “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.”
The 2023 schedule of events had many hosts, including the Stadium Lunch, Port City Café and Pub, Final Friday at Bonneyfiddle, Ollies, Pizza Pub, Portsmouth Brewing Company, Earth Candy Farmacy, Scioto Ribber, Coffee at the Lofts, Maestros Mexican Grill, and a food truck event.
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.
Minter explained that Connex is currently planning the 2024 season and believes Tour de Portsmouth may return in 2024.
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2023 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.