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‘Come see the beauty we have here in Albert Lea’

Inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll the Lakes ride gearing up

 

On July 14, the Albert Lea Area Cyclists are teaming up with the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota to host Albert Lea’s fist annual Rock ‘n’ Roll the Lakes bike tour.

The tour will consist of three different routes that vary in distance. Beginners can opt for a short, 10-mile route; intermediate riders can take a 30-mile loop and advanced cyclists can take a 50-mile route. Helmets are required for all riders.

All routes stop and start from the North Broadway parking lot across from Fountain Lake Park. That is also where riders will check in before they start their routes. There is no set start time and check-in is open from 8 to 10 a.m. Cyclists can start any time they want between that time period, but riders on the 50-mile route are required to start before 9 a.m.

Although there will be registration the day of the event, riders are encouraged to register online beforehand at a discounted rate. Anyone wanting to participate can register online via the Rock ‘n’ Roll the Lakes Facebook page.

For one adult, the registration fee is $36 and a group of four can register together for the price of $34 each. BikeMN members receive a $5 discount. College students ages 18 to 22 can ride for $20 with a $1.99 fee with a valid student ID. Children ages 5 to 17 can register for $10 with a $1.49 fee and children up to 4 years old are free to ride.

For groups with people riding in different levels, all three routes start together and will diverge along the path.

“We encourage groups,” said event committee member Jeff Englin. “Groups are going to bring more comradery and a lot more fun, but we also want to encourage people from out of town as well. We want people to come see the beauty we have here in Albert Lea with the lakes and everything else; we want to showcase that.”

Along each route, riders will be treated to food and drink rest stops along the way. Registered riders will also receive discounted food and drinks at many local businesses for the rest of the day.

Aside from the riding, there will also be live music played in the parking lot for riders to enjoy after their routes. Local favorite Denny and the DC Drifters will be playing from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Bayside Ski team is also scheduled to put on an exhibition shortly after the rides as well.

Event organizers are hoping for around 150 to 200 people at the event, but expect it to grow exponentially over the next few years.

“We’ve been told that with the amenities we have, with the lake, with the structure that we’ve used they said to expect things to grow rapidly,” Englin said. 

Proceeds from the event are put toward improving bike trails in the community as well as teaching area youth about bike safety.

“Part of this whole thing is to just have a fun ride,” Englin said. “But the main focus is to start raising some money for the trails and instead of going out and just asking for donations, we put together this event. Whether it’s signage, making new trails or repairing old ones, we want kids to have a safe ride to work and adults to have a safe ride to work.”

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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