DOWNTOWN AKRON — Akron’s first-ever Bike Week features more than a
dozen events that encourage residents to give their two-wheelers a
Taking place Aug. 22-30, Akron Bike Week will provide cyclists with
a variety of activities and opportunities to use their bikes as well as
showcase improvements to Akron’s bike-friendliness.
“What we’ve been trying to do is raise the profile of the use of the
bicycle in Akron,” said Mark Albrecht, special projects manager in the
city of Akron’s economic development office. “It has caught on as a
recreation mode, but we also want to see it used as a mode of
The city has partnered with The University of Akron (UA), the
University Park Alliance, Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, Akron
Bicycle Club, Cascade Locks Park Association and the Downtown Akron
Partnership to coordinate nine days of bike-centered activities.
Beth Houseman, assistant director of the University Park Alliance,
said she hopes participants will get the chance to see what’s been
happening around town to make biking a more attractive option for
“We are promoting it as a way for residents and visitors to
University Park, as well as students, to discover how easy it is to use
a bike to go to work, school or a movie,” Houseman said.
Recently, the University Park neighborhood saw the installation of
“sharrows,” which are symbols painted onto the street to indicate
shared roadways for bikes and cars. Houseman said the neighborhood also
will see some streets striped with bike lanes while others will be
designated as bicycle boulevards. New bike racks also have been
installed in the area, she added, and grant money was recently used to
purchase bikes for schoolchildren and new homebuyers in the
Houseman said more people are turning to biking as fuel costs hover
in the $3-a-gallon range. That means bike proponents are turning a lot
of their attention to safety issues and education for cyclists and
“We want to do everything we can to ensure [biking] is done in the safest way possible,” she said.
The week of events will feature bike valets at Lock 3 Park’s Rock
the Lock on Aug. 22 and 29 at 7 p.m. and at the Farmer’s Market there
Aug. 23 and 30 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The CitiCenter Athletic Club also
will host a bike valet Aug. 22 and 26 for Bike to Work Day, as well as
The week kicks off Aug. 22 at 11 a.m. with the dedication of the new
Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath bridge on the Akron Innerbelt at Ash and
A complete schedule of Akron Bike Week events is available at www.akronbikeinfo.org. Here are some of the highlights:
Aug. 23: Bike with Summit County Engineer Greg Bachman
beginning at 8 a.m. at Boston Township Hall. At 10 a.m. the Akron
Bicycle Club will host the Tour de Akron, a three-hour trip around the
city that will highlight landmarks, beginning at Hardesty Park.
From noon to 4 p.m. at Lock 3 Park, there will be a BikeEd workshop and ride.
24: The University Park Bicycle Scavenger Hunt begins at University
Bike Shop, 160 E. Exchange St., with registration at 1 p.m. Tickets
must be purchased by Aug. 23 at the shop for this event, which will
have bikers 18 and older travel around town on a quest. The cost is $5.
that day, a Family Bike and Train Ride will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the
Mustill Store. Participants will board the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic
Railroad train at the Northside Station with their bikes at a cost of
$2. They will get off the train at the Botzum Trailhead and ride the 6
Aug 25: From 5 to 9 p.m. in the Gardner
Theater at the UA Student Union, free movies will be on the screen.
“Breaking Away” is at 5 p.m., followed by “The Yellow Bike Project” at
7 p.m. and “The Bicycle Thief” at 7:15 p.m. Indoor bike valet will be
available and bike helmets will be for sale for $7.50.
26: Prepare for Bike to Work Day at the How2Commute workshop at noon in
Room 2AB at the Akron-Summit County Main Library. Lunch from Hattie’s
Café will be available for $5. Also, The Akron Bicycle Club will host
its Tuesday Club Ride in Cuyahoga Valley National Park from 6:30 to
8:15 p.m. Start location is Botzum Trailhead.
The Tires and Train Outdoor Adventure Ride, featuring a train ride and
bike ride along the Towpath Trail, is open to all and organized by UA
Recreation and Wellness Services. Meet at Student Recreation and
Wellness Center at 2:30 p.m. Riders must be 18 or older and registered
by Aug. 26. The cost is $2 for the train and helmets are mandatory. A
limited number of bikes and helmets are available from the Outdoor
Adventure Department or you can provide your own. For more information,
call (330) 972-8028.
Aug. 28: UA is hosting Bike to
Campus Day. Riders can shower on campus and park their bikes in racks.
University Bike Shop will feature a prize wheel.
Aug. 29: Century Cycles in Peninsula will host its Towpath Night Ride beginning at 8 p.m. Headlights and helmets are required.
30: The UA Bicycle Club Ride will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Ride will
leave from the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. Helmets are
mandatory for all participants.
Available from http://www.akron.com/akron-ohio-sports-news.asp?aID=3230