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Hike, Bike & Paddle Returns Memorial Day

Thursday May 9, 2013


Booths, activities begin at 8:30a.m./cycling, paddling,
walking at 10a.m.

Thousands of cyclists, paddlers and walkers will be in motion this Memorial Day during the 17th Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Subway Fresh Fit Hike, Bike & Paddle May 27 at Waterfront Park.

“This has truly become a not-to-be-missed destination event for so many people,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “It’s exciting for me to see people of all ages, including many families enjoying a morning of fun and exercise.”

Subway Restaurants is the title sponsor of Hike, Bike & Paddle, with presenting sponsors, Coca-Cola, Norton Healthcare and Neil Huffman Subaru.

"SUBWAY Restaurants are proud to sponsor the SUBWAY Fresh Fit Hike, Bike & Paddle events and to encourage people all over Kentuckiana to lead healthy, active lifestyles," said Bill Kolodey, field marketing manager for Subway Restaurants.

A 3-mile paddling course gives canoeists and kayakers the option of heading up Beargrass Creek as far as the MSD pumping station at Brownsboro Rd. or staying on the Ohio River and paddling through the land-side channel of Towhead Island.

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 Rd. and Witherspoon Dr. from 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Persons without a boat can rent a canoe or kayak. However, boats must be reserved in advance by contacting River City Canoe & Kayak at 502.210.7626 or info@rcckonline.com.

For cyclists, a 15-mile route will journey 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 eastern sections of Waterfront Park and enjoy scenic views along the newest section of the Riverwalk adjoining the new marina in River Park Place. Walkers can bring dogs to participate in the hike, but must keep their dogs on a leash and 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. 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. Food trucks will be on site offering a variety of foods and snacks and there will be free tours on the river in the large “Voyager Canoe.” Yoga, tai chi and Zumba demonstrations will be offered along with group participation. Also, tennis demonstrations will be provided by the U.S. Tennis Association, designed to encourage young people to take up the sport.

More than 3,000 free T-shirts will be available for those arriving early and the Brain Injury Association will distribute 500 helmets to riders who don’t have one. The Kosair Children’s Hospital Bike Safety Rodeo will offer safety education activities for young cyclists.

Participants are encouraged to be “green” and bring their own water bottles which they will be able to fill in Waterfront Park, part of the Louisville Water Company’s Pure Tap To Go program.

This is the ninth 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.