To honor 61 years of riding the Tour of the Scioto River Valley (TOSRV), CONNEX is working with locals to showcase some unique rides with its Vintage Cruisers and Custom Bicycle Show.
The local group, CONNEX, is a 501©3 nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the development of activity routes throughout Portsmouth and the surrounding community. The group’s mission, “to inspire activities of play, exercise, and social connections to promote health and wellness,” aligns with the health and economic development challenges of the Portsmouth community.
The group’s events focus on walking, hiking, cruising, and paddling. It regularly participates in TOSRV festivities.
When talking to those who have ridden TOSRV multiple times, they frequently mention how beautiful the ride is, how nice the locals are and the gratification of making the 100-mile trek. It is a rite of passage for some but also a scenic journey through our “Little Smokies”. For those wanting to ride but unsure of a longer route, TOSRV added two new starting points a couple of years ago. One starting in Chillicothe heading south and the other starting in Portsmouth. For those interested in taking up the challenge, riders can register by visiting www.tosrv.org.
CONNEX helps in these activities.
CONNEX’s Toni Dengel, who has been involved since 2017, sees a lot of value in the ride, commenting, “Being a local outdoors group, Connex uses the TOSRV event as an opportunity to host a small awareness campaign. It’s important that we provide drivers with awareness of the cycling event to create good habits such as allowing for three feet between cyclist and the driver. We place various yard signs along the path to achieve this goal. The more awareness we can offer, the safer we can make the area for those who do ride at other times of the year. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful outdoor landscape that many other cities don’t have. Creating a safe environment for the driver and cyclist to use those spaces is a goal of ours.”
Dengel explained that TOSRV activities in town are not just for riders and CONNEX hopes to bring more locals to the celebration to celebrate the bicyclists.
“I think some people are unaware that TOSRV finish line festivities are for everyone and not only for the riders. This is a fun community event. At Three Bridges Park, non-riders can grab some good food, a cold beverage, cheer on the riders and listen to live local music courtesy of the Final Fridays Project,” Dengel said. “We came up with the customs bike show to encourage greater attendance by showing this is a community event. We initially talked about having different types of shows— such as a car show— but, after further discussion, and considering the limited space of the area, hosting a custom and vintage bicycle show made the most sense to coincide with TOSRV. There aren’t many custom bike shows out there but we have already heard back from a few people who are excited about entering in their vintage bikes.”
The community is welcome to bring their bicycle and setup for free at the start of the event. There is also no pre-registration required for the setup.
Also, during the show, there will be live music, and food and beverages will be available for purchase. Live music will be presented by local sensation Mikey Mike and the Big Unit and Of the Dell
Awards will be given to participants at the conclusion of the show. Awards will consist of Best in Show, Most Unique, and People’s Choice.
The Vintage Cruisers and Custom Bicycle Show will be at Three Bridges Park, where Final Friday is held, at 1 p.m. on September 24th.
For more information on the event, visit www.connexmoves.org/vccbs
The community is also welcomed to join CONNEX in any of its many community-minded programming.
“The saying is true – If you don’t use it, you lose it. Scioto County is one of the unhealthiest, if not the most unhealthy counties in Ohio. Our goal at Connex is to inspire health through play. Whether it’s socializing on Wendi’s Wednesday hikes, relaxing on Turkey Creek Lake during Dawn’s full moon Kayaking or enjoying a group ride with Nathan, Logan or Jason, exercise becomes secondary. Taking care of your mind, body and spirit are key steps in creating a happy and healthy life. We offer multiple events throughout the week to help with that,” explained Dengel.
Locations of hiking and biking do rotate. Locations and times can be found on the group’s Facebook page “Portsmouth Connex Group”. All bike levels are welcomed at the Thursday ride. The leaders will ride to the skill level of those who show up. For those who can’t make the Thursday ride there are a few gps routes listed on our website www.connexmoves.org.
© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved