Tour de Buckeye Lake: Bikes, Wine & Charity in the Buckeye State
Written by and photo credit to: Kathleen O’Dowd, September 6, 2017
Repairing a dam that was failing, due to increasing local development, efforts were made to drain the lake, then widen and reinforce the dam. The renewal of the lake brought with it a renewed interest in recreational opportunities in the area, including the cycling community.
Proceeds from the ride benefit the Bike Buckeye Lake Christmas Bike Drive, providing access to bikes, and the freedom, independence and joy that they bring, to a first-time bike owner.
Cycling brings families together, bridging the generational gap. Couples strengthen the bonds of their relationship, riding side-by-side down the road, or sometimes in tandem. Groups of friends gather, riding in a friendly rhythm, chatting along the way.
Sometimes, friends find each other on the road (or in the parking lot) accidentally, drawn to the event, unaware that their friends are also planning to be in attendance. Bikes bring them together. . . or maybe it’s the charity. . . or the wine!
“Bike Buckeye Lake is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of multi-use trails around the Buckeye Lake Region. We also raise funds to provide new bicycles and helmets to needy children in the three-county region surrounding Buckeye Lake.”
The cycling community is tightly knit, but also very welcoming. The stickers and magnets on car bumpers suggest that this is not the first ride for most of these cyclists. There’s evidence of community cycling groups, charity rides, and common social interests. Bike education awareness is front and center, and there’s a general spirit of acceptance and support.
It was gracious of the winery to open their doors to this event, and participants left with a coupon in hand, with discounts for their next visit. But the event was good business for the winery, and the wine was well received. From flatbreads to deep fried green beans, I heard nothing but compliments about the food.
There’s something to be said about having a relaxed place to unwind, after 30+ miles on the bike. The 25 mile route was a basic loop of the lake, but there were optional side excursions that added another 10 or so miles, showcasing small pockets of the Buckeye Lake neighborhoods. The tour invited many visitors to the lake for the first time, which will likely lead to future, return visits.
It’s not uncommon for a bike ride to conclude with a deep sign of contentment, casual conversation with friends (old and new), and a glass raised in celebration . . . celebration of the ride, the physical accomplishment of completing it, and the camaraderie of a shared experience. The ride itself builds mutual trust and friendship, among people who have spent quality time together, overcoming personal doubts and sharing personal successes.
That’s definitely something to raise a glass to! Cheers!
Article and Photo Credit: Kathleen O’Dowd of Accidental Wanderlust Blog, The Art, Adventures & Attitude of a Work Traveler. September 6 2017