The first Lenoir Bicycle Festival was a success according to volunteers and participants who brought their bikes to Downtown Lenoir and road around on our streets.
The festival was held this past Saturday, May 14, 2022, from 10:00 to 3:00 pm. About 300 people attended the event including kids, parents, and younger and older adults.
The festival offered a free ride lane around Downtown on Main Street, West Avenue, Church Street, and Harper Avenue. Courageous cyclists conquered three different obstacle courses made of ramps, bunny hops, balance beams, see-saws, and rumble boards. The time trial was very popular, and the winners in each age bracket won a prize from Google. Participants could also take a shot at conquering the Impossible Backwards Bicycle produced specifically for this event by co-planner Matthew Anthony.
Councilman David Stevens volunteered at the event. He said everyone that came out seemed to have a great time.
"As I looked around, I saw lots of families, moms and dads on bikes, kids on bikes, and the parents seemed very comfortable with the kids riding the loop downtown," Councilman Stevens said. "For the first year, I think it went very well. It was a great time for families."
Jack Brown, Past-President and Board Member for the Northwest North Carolina Mountain Bike Alliance, set up a tent at the festival to tell people about mountain biking in the area and to recruit members into the alliance. He said it was fantastic to see the support of the community, the volunteers, and the participants in the event.
"I had a blast at the Lenoir Bicycle Festival," Brown said. "I was pleasantly surprised to see such good attendance for a first time event. There was a very diverse group of people there, from legitimate training "amateur" cyclists, to the niche custom low rider and so many fun bikes in between. Riders young and old were smiling and experiencing the joy of community while being outside on a bike."
Brown said the Northwest NC MTB Alliance will definitely be back at the festival next year.
Magic Cycles from Boone also attended and set up a tent. One of the Magic Cycles staff helped a lot of attendees check out issues with their bikes and provided several tune ups.
Afternoon showers cut the festival a bit short, but about 70 people stayed or returned for the raffle drawing. Raffle prizes included three bikes from Rock N Road Bicycles in Hickory, A Pixelbook, three $50 gift cards from Happy Valley Filling Station, a two-hour shelter rental at a City park, a few City of Lenoir hats, and several sports bag packs donated by Caldwell Public Schools.
Event co-planner Joshua Harris said it takes a lot of work by a lot of people to pull off a downtown event and he appreciates all the help and support from the city and community.
"Everyone who came out had a great time. I had a lot of fun riding the downtown loop, and I saw kids and adults on the obstacle courses and time trial," Harris said. "I want to say thank you co-planner Matthew Anthony, who did the big lifting on the planning. Thank you to all the City and county staff and volunteers who helped to set up and staff the event, and thank you to all the sponsors who donated money and materials. We look forward having the festival again next year."
The City of Lenoir Greenway offers more than nine miles of path and trails for outdoor activities including running, walking, cycling, and mountain biking. These trails include the main greenway, the T.H. Broyhill Walking Park, and the greenway on Morganton Boulevard. The Zacks Fork Mountain Biking Trail offers nearly 3 miles of off-road trail for mountain biking. Click the following link for more information about the City greenway, Lenoir Greenway.
The City is hosting another bicycle-themed event next month, the Neon Night Ride.
The Neon Night Ride is happening on June 3, 2022, which is also World Bicycle Day. The plan is to decorate bikes with glow sticks or LED lights and take a nighttime ride on City greenway.
Bring your family and your glowing bikes to the Lenoir Rotary Soccer Complex at 8:30 pm. The ride will have both a lead and tail riders to keep the group together. The ride will begin at 9:00 pm sharp, starting at the Lenoir Rotary Soccer Complex and making a loop on the Greenway. The first 50 people who register and show up for the event will receive a free spoke light. Click the following link for more information and to register for the ride, Neon Night Ride.
A girl finishes up the Time Trial.
A local resident helps his son finish up one of the obstacle course.
A couple shows off their classic, all-original Schwinn bikes.
A family rides the loop downtown.
A mom co-rides with her child.
A boy finishes up one of the obstacle courses.
Children wait for their turn at the Time Trial course.
A man shows off his gold, low-rider bicycle.
A woman poses with her Margaritaville bike.
A boy conquers the hard obstacle course.
A man tries the Impossible Backwards Bicycle.
Raffle winners pose with their prizes.