The county park board rides on two wheels.
In its report Monday to the Madison County commissioners, bicycling events were rolled out, one coming up in slightly more than a month, another closer to Labor Day.
A Prairie Bike ride will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 26, said Julia Cumming of the Madison Soil and Water District. It will begin at the Prairie Grass Trailhead, behind the Madison County Senior Center on West High Street, and proceed either three miles or five miles for turning points.
The rides will be lead by John E. Silvius, a Ph.D. in biology, who will talk about the restoration of native prairie along the trail.
Pace will be leisurely and cost free.
The ride is co-sponsored by the soil and water district and the Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails (FMCPT).
Another bike ride will take place later in the summer on Labor Day. It will be held in conjunction with the Ox Roast in West Jefferson. Wayne Roberts said the ride will be designed to coordinate with the festival’s tour de force sandwich. A corral will be set up to secure bicycles as riders stroll the festival.
Ride ticket price will include the price of the sandwich.
Proceeds from the ride will be used for trail maintenance.
Roberts said some routes are being considered but as yet it is not yet confirmed.
“Our goal is to make it sustainable,” Roberts said. “There was so much effort put in it (in the past) on their part which made it unsustainable.”
A logo unique to the event will be designed and put on literature and T-shirts.
In other business, Cumming said volunteers from the Student Life Mission will return to Madison County this summer. Their assignment will be to clean up illegally-dumped construction debris in the Darby Nature Preserve.
“It’s an eyesore,” she said.
The county engineer’s office will donate the use of a dumpster in which to deposit the unwanted materials.
Plans are also ongoing for:
• A link from the county’s website to park district’s website
• To erect a memorial plaque to the late Jack McDowell, who did so much to improve recreation in Madison County.
Dean Shipley can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 17 or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.