Wednesday May 14, 2014
Thousands of cyclists, paddlers and walkers will be in motion this Memorial Day during the 19th Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Subway Fresh Fit Hike, Bike & Paddle May 26 at Waterfront Park.
“This has become a true signature event for Louisville – a demonstration of how much our residents love being outdoors and participating in family-oriented healthy exercise and recreation,” Mayor Greg Fischer said.
Subway Restaurants is the title sponsor of Hike, Bike & Paddle, with presenting sponsors, Coca-Cola, Norton Healthcare and Thorntons.
"SUBWAY Restaurants are proud to once again sponsor the SUBWAY Fresh Fit Hike, Bike & Paddle events. The events give people an opportunity to lead healthy, active lifestyles," said Bill Kolodey, field marketing manager for Subway Restaurants.
“Coca-Cola is proud to be a Presenting Sponsor of the Mayor’s Hike, Bike and Paddle activity on Memorial Day,” said Roy Potts, director, Public Affairs & Communications for the Coca-Cola Company. “We recognize the uniqueness of consumers’ lifestyles and dietary choices. All of our products can be part of an active, healthy lifestyle that includes a sensible, balanced diet, proper hydration and regular, physical exercise.”
“Norton Healthcare is honored to support this year’s Hike, Bike & Paddle event,” said Allison Ledford, director of Employee Wellness at Norton Healthcare. “With a mission to respond to the health care needs of our community, our goal is much the same as the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement — to create a culture of health and wellness in our hometown. And just like the Healthy Hometown Movement, we know that maintaining wellness is easier when people are surrounded by options that make it easy and fun to be healthy.”
"We are proud to call Louisville our hometown and support the movement into a healthier tomorrow," said Thorntons, Inc. president and CEO Matt Thornton. "Our sponsorship is a sign of our commitment to the community where we live, work and play."
Paddlers will have the option of a 3 or 6-mile paddling course from Harbor Lawn in Waterfront Park to Cox Park and back. TARC will provide a free shuttle back to the Waterfront for the paddlers wishing to complete the upriver-only 3-mile course.
Paddling participants will launch their canoes or kayaks at the river ramp located at the Harbor Lawn of Waterfront Park. Paddlers can drop their boats off at the “Green” parking lot near River Road and Witherspoon Street. from 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
For cyclists, a 15-mile route will roll through Old Louisville, down Southern Parkway and into Iroquois Park, one of Louisville’s signature Olmsted-designed Metro Parks. Turnoffs will provide options for cycling routes as short as two miles.
The hiking route, which is wheelchair-accessible, will allow walkers to explore downtown along Third St. before turning at York St. in front of the main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library. Walkers may bring dogs to participate in the hike, as long as the animal is on a leash and owners pick up waste during the walk as required by law.
Both the cycling and walking routes will be marked with signage and will have plenty of water stops to refill water bottles. The Louisville Bicycle Club is providing “bike captains” to help cyclists obey the rules of the road. “Bike doctors” will be in Waterfront Park before the ride and along the route to assist cyclists with any equipment problems. Louisville Metro Police will provide traffic assistance at key intersections and the Louisville Metro EMS bicycle team will patrol the route.
A healthy marketplace with nutritional snacks, free children’s activities, and informational booths will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Waterfront Park. There will also be free tours on the river in the large “Voyager Canoe.” Yoga, Tai Chi, Zumba, Nia and Pickleball demonstrations will be offered along with group participation.
3,000 free T-shirts will be available for those arriving early and completing a brief survey. The Brain Injury Association will distribute 500 helmets to riders who don’t have one. Coca-Cola will distribute 2,500 pedometers to the hikers.
As an added bonus, all participants in the Hike, Bike & Paddle will get free admission to the Kentucky Reggae Festival happening Memorial Day at the Water Tower. The free passes will be available at the Reggae Festival booth at the Hike, Bike & Paddle.
Participants are encouraged to be “green” and bring their own water bottles which they will be able to fill in Waterfront and Iroquois Parks as part of the Louisville Water’s Pure Tap To Go program. For those without a water bottle the Louisville Metro Parks Foundation will have them available for sale on-site.
This is the tenth year for the events, which are held each Memorial Day and Labor Day. The events are part of the city’s Healthy Hometown Movement, created to encourage Louisville residents to be more active and make healthier lifestyle choices. For more information, go to www.hikebikeandpaddlelouisville.com.
Additional support is provided by Louisville Public Media, Landmark Community Newspapers and CBS Outdoor.