Rotary Club's inaugural Ride to End Polio

Real Bikes owner Cyndee Reynolds, left, poses with supporters of the event.

A paralyzing and potentially fatal disease, polio still threatens children in other parts of the world. Rotary International is raising $50 million annually for polio eradication and the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation matches that two for one. Venice Nokomis Rotary Club invites everyone to ride to fight this deadly disease.

They are staging an inaugural Ride to End Polio Now followed by a celebration on Oct. 26, beginning at 8 a.m. Rides start and end at Legacy Park and will be followed from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. by a picnic party. Participants and guests are invited to bring a picnic lunch.

Major event sponsor Real Bikes Venice & Englewood is donating various prizes for the Rotary event competition, including 1) a new $650 James Hudson Bicycle with all required riding accessories, 2) a rider safety kit, 3) a weekend rental for two and 4) a bike tune-up voucher. Demonstration bicycles will be available during the post-ride picnic party.

Families and leisure cyclists can join the event at any time from 8:30 a.m. Free parking and pre-ride safety checks will be provided by technicians at Real Bikes, 581 U.S. 41 Bypass in Bird Bay Plaza near the Legacy Trail Overpass, and in the Real Bikes tent at the starting point, store manager Carl Poleschner said.

Welcoming everyone, including the casual, fun and cautious cyclists to come and enjoy this special-themed ride, club president Wendy North emphasized they can support this project with sponsorships, donations and by riding.

Everyone selects their course or simply enjoys riding the trail. Directional signs will be posted along the route and there will be free water stations. Enthusiasts can ride the 20-, 15-, 10- or 5-mile courses with early starts. Teams representing clubs, companies and communities are encouraged to ride in their own uniforms with blazing colorful outfits.

Most of the events in this area are family friendly coordinated rides at various distances, doable at different activity levels, said Cyndee Reynolds, store owner who is riding in the event. Children and people less fit should chose the shorter routes.

If you enjoy cycling and want event entry forms, see the Real Bikes team at the store. For the event they will rent cycles. The showroom features more than 500 bikes, new and used, starting from $150 and up to $15,000, depending on the wheels and custom build.

Rider registration starts at 8 a.m., adults $25, children under 12 free.

Adults will receive T-shirts, wrist bands, lunch and beverages; children’s T-shirts are $12 each.

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