Get nostalgic and creative at Chandler’s Family Bike Ride on April 6

March 15, 2024
| by:
Communications and Public Affairs

A Velocipede is not a dinosaur from Jurassic Park. A Sting-Ray Fastback is not a sea creature. A Raleigh Chopper is not equipment on a North Carolina tobacco farm. And a Huffy Buckaroo is not an annoyed cowboy. If you know, you know.

These and many other names of classic bicycles stir wonderful childhood memories for people of all ages. For many people, a lifetime love of bike riding may have started while sitting on a banana seat, listening to a playing card clicking in the tire spokes, and laughing while riding around the neighborhood with friends.

Whether you have a modern bicycle or a vintage model you keep stashed in your storage shed, bring it to Tumbleweed Park on April 6, and participate in the 16th Annual Chandler Family Bike Ride and community bike show. The theme for this year’s event is “Pedal Through Time,” and participants are encouraged to decorate their bikes and dress to reflect their favorite decade. Prizes will be awarded for the “most unique,” “best themed” and “crowd favorite” entries.

“We're encouraging the community to bring out their bikes for a fun ride and to get into the nostalgic spirit,” said Chandler’s Transportation Planning Coordinator Nancy Wagner. “They can showcase their wheels and their creativity – whether as a solo rider, a family or group of friends. It’s a chance to celebrate the timeless joy of biking while paying homage to the eras that shaped us.”

In addition to the bike show, the Family Bike Ride features a 7.8-mile round-trip ride on the Paseo Trail, the city’s paved pathway along the Consolidated Canal. This year’s route will start from the Chandler Park-and-Ride lot on the southwest corner of Hamilton Street and Germann Road, then take riders through Tumbleweed Park and across McQueen Road to the Paseo Trail. The group will then travel south to Crossbow Park and pause for some light refreshments and hydration before riding back to the starting point. Upon return (most riders complete the journey in 90 minutes or less), cyclists can enjoy a free Kona Ice to celebrate, along with getting information about bicycle safety, transit services and related topics.

The Family Bike Ride is free, and check-in and bike show activities begin at 7:30 a.m. Mayor Kevin Hartke will kick off the ride promptly at 8:30 a.m. While we encourage creativity and fun, safety remains our top priority. Participants are required to wear helmets, obey traffic laws and stay hydrated throughout the ride. Family Bike Ride participants who pre-register at Chandler Family Bike Ride will receive a free t-shirt while supplies last.

For Jason Crampton, transportation planning manager for the City of Chandler, the Family Bike Ride is one piece of a broader initiative to promote bicycle riding in our community.

“The ride is a great event to bring people together and enjoy some beautiful spring weather. But it’s also a way to promote everything the city does to improve transportation and recreational options for our residents,” Crampton said. “If we can help people to enjoy biking for fun and exercise, then maybe they will also use their bicycles for other purposes, like commuting to work or shopping trips. Generally, bicycle trips are going to put less stress on the roadways, create less vehicle congestion and generate less air pollution. There are many public benefits.”

Chandler’s multi-pronged approach to bicycle use has once again reaped national recognition. Earlier this year, the League of American Bicyclists honored the city for the sixth consecutive time with a bronze-level award as a Bicycle Friendly Community℠.

“It's a big deal that we got this award, since it recognizes our strengths as a bike-friendly destination,” Crampton boasted. “Our canal paths – the Paseo Trail and the Western Canal – are our crown jewels of bike amenities. Additionally, we have more than 400 miles of bike lanes in Chandler, with the majority on arterial streets, and a significant amount on collector streets. It's a good network for people to get around.”

Crampton and Wagner noted that while the city has done a lot of good things, historically, to make bicycling more appealing, there is much more on the horizon. “The City Council has been very supportive of our work and receptive to feedback from residents,” Crampton added. “We're definitely working on enhancing the infrastructure to make bicycling much more comfortable, convenient and safe in the city.”

The Chandler Family Bike Ride is presented by the city’s Transportation Policy Division, with support from various city departments. We thank this year’s Chandler Family Bike Ride partners: SRP, Global Bikes, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Chandler BMX, Pedal Haus, Valley Metro, Kiwanis Club of Chandler, Kona Ice, Chandler Library and Chasse Building Team.

The annual ride is held in conjunction with Valley Bike Month, presented every April by Valley Metro. For more information, contact Nancy Jackson at 480-782-3442. Preregistration is open now at Chandler Family Bike Ride.

Can’t make Family Bike Ride? Ride on your own April 7-14

If you’re not able to attend the community event or would rather ride in the comfort of your own neighborhood or park, the city will also offer an alternative option April 7-14. Grab your family and friends and ride anytime during the weeklong event. Alternative riders who pre-register at Chandler Family Bike Ride will receive a free t-shirt, while supplies last.

This blog also appeared in the SanTan Sun News.