BLUFFTON — A ride to commemorate former Bluffton residents Ropp and Mary Emma Triplett will raise funds to build additional bike paths in Bluffton.
The fifth annual “Ride To Remember” is July 20 beginning at 6:30 a.m. with a mass at 8 a.m. and routes open until 4 p.m. Whether you are new to bicycling or have been riding for many years, there is a route for everyone with route distances ranging from two miles to 112 miles.
Ropp and Mary Emma Triplett were Bluffton community supporters and avid bicyclists. Ropp rode his bicycle to work, and both rode around town including to trips to the stores and to the tennis courts. Their son, Bill Triplett, was approached five years ago by the Bluffton Chamber of Commerce officials about having a community event to remember his parents.
“One of the things my parents did 30 years ago was to plan and manage the development of a bicycle path to ease pedestrian and bicycle travel from the town out to the town park, ” Bill Triplett said.
It was coming up on the 25th anniversary of installation of that bike path and Bill Triplett and his siblings came up with the idea for the Ride To Remember to commemorate his parents dedication to, and love for, bicycling in Bluffton. Bill Triplett approached Ramseyer and the Bluffton Lions Foundation about partnering for the bike ride and the club got involved in the ride. It was decided the proceeds from the bike ride would go to the Lions Foundation to help build more bike paths in the town. The first year there were 101 cyclists at the ride, which grew each year with 210 participants in 2018. This year the ride committee is expecting 250 riders.
The routes are on scenic flat paved roads and feature points of interest such as Bluffton University campus and nature preserve, Schumacher Swiss Homestead, and the villages of Lafayette, Ada, Rockport, Pandora, Ottawa, Gilboa, Benton Ridge, Rawson and Mount Cory.
The event starts at Bluffton Family Recreation, 215 Snider Road, and registration is available at ridetoremember.net
Commemorative T-shirts are also available for $20 and can be ordered on the website or purchased at Bike Crazy, 127 N. Main St., Bluffton.
Riders will receive a swag bag filled with items and coupons from local businesses and an $8 lunch coupon for use at select Bluffton restaurants. Each rider is also entitled to free swimming in the Bluffton Community Pool and showers at Bluffton Family Recreation.
Proceeds from the ride will benefit the Bluffton Lionsway Pathway Projects. Using proceeds from previous rides, the Bluffton Pedestrian and Bike Pathway has been expanded to include four of the 10 planned miles, according to Dick Ramseyer, Bluffton Lions Foundation president. The pathway has improved access to the Riverbend and Parkview subdivisions, Maple Crest Senior Living Village, Buckeye Lake and Village Parks and restaurants and businesses on State Route 103. In all, Bluffton has more than nine miles of paved, crushed aggregate, mulched and natural trails.
Reach Jennifer Peryam 567-242-0362.