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Social rides planned here

— A series of monthly “social bike rides” — short, easy jaunts the whole family can enjoy — will start in The Dalles in June and run through September.

Organizer Theresa Whitfield said the point of the social bike rides is just to get people outdoors and doing something. Each ride will start and end at City Park. The ride dates are every second Sunday — June 9, July 14, Aug. 11 and Sept. 8.

The rides will start at 7 p.m. and end back at City Park at 7:30 p.m.

Since the motto of the rides is “flat, slow, fun, easy” Whitfield is scouting out the flattest routes that will put riders in residential areas.

“The idea is you want to be weaving through the neighborhoods so it’s visible and more people will want to join in next time. Kids will decorate their bikes and we will have minor door prizes for kids.”

“It’s just the idea of having a short, easy, flat bike ride that goes the same pace as the slowest person. And the whole community shows up and talks and they’re outside and visiting with their neighbors,” Whitfield said.

The distance will be “something that takes somebody who rides fairly slow to do in a half hour,” she said. “We’re going to be on streets that aren’t heavily traveled,” she said. Plus, they will be on Sundays, which are typically lower-traffic days.

Ride marshals will be positioned at the front and rear of the group of riders, to screen the riders from traffic, control the pace and make sure everybody is following the rules and keeping safe, Whitfield said.

Whitfield has done similar rides before.

“It’s just fun,” she said.

The Dalles Kiwanis Club has donated money for flyers, and she plans to talk to church groups and sports groups. She encouraged those who bring food to share to bring water and fruit, “so there’s not a bunch of Oreos at the finish line.”

Non-biking supporters “are celebrated and included,” a flyer for the event announced. The flyer also promises a free-wheeling time. “Craziness encouraged,” it states.

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