By Corbin Little
Over the years, Lexington has become more and more bicycle friendly. Bicycling has grown exponentially due its convenience for many living close to work or school and as daily exercise. To encourage this growth, on Friday, April 9, the University of Kentucky Student Sustainability Council (SSC) hosted Pedalpalooza, a free event that brought together Lexingtonians with varying bicycle interests to network and, more importantly, to have fun.
Russell Williamson, member of the SSC and organizer for the event, commented on the dynamics of the growing community and culture: “It seems there is always a disconnect. Young people love bicycles, but then there comes an age when you don’t want to ride one, have fun with one, or be on one. And I think it’s important to remember how much fun they can be, as well as a benefit to health and exercise. It grows community and grows culture through shared experiences.”
Pedalpalooza brought together bike lovers and organizations from throughout the city. Broke Spoke and Wildcat Wheels joined forces and resources to provide onsite bicycle tune-ups and repairs. Lexington Bike Polo set up their own courts, demonstrating the fine art of the game as well as inviting others to play. Bike/Walk Lexington, Legacy Trail, LexRides, Bluegrass Cycling Club, and League of American Cyclists set up tables with information about their organizations and ways that others could become more involved. Local talent Funny Bones and Soul Funkin’ Dangerous supplied the musical entertainment for the event.
Becca Thill, who received a tune up while attending the event, said, “It’s awesome that so many different people and groups were able to come out today to support bicycles! I’m a fair weather biker so with summer coming up, this tune-up was well needed.” When asked how or if the event had changed her perception of bicycling, she responded, “Definitely, I never knew Lexington had such a diverse biking community. There are people here promoting more bike lanes, shops offering free bike education, and I never knew bike polo even existed before today.”
In case you missed it this year, don’t worry, Pedalpalooza will become an annual event. As indicated by Robert Kahne, the president of the SSC, “The fundamentals that were put together this year were really solid. We definitely learned a lot of lessons from the first Pedalpalooza that will make future ones a great success.”
So get on your bike and keep riding until Pedalpalooza comes around again.