Local cyclists are invited to take part in the 16th annual ‘Loop the Lake’ bicycle ride on Saturday, July 21st. The charity event – believed to be the longest-running group ride around the circumference of Chautauqua Lake – is coordinated annually by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Jamestown.
All proceeds from the ride will benefit local youth programs, including the Children of the Book Summer Reading Program, a five-week day camp for children who will be entering grade 4 through 6 in the fall who need assistance with literary skills. The emphasis of the program is to help maintain reading levels over the summer months, as well as to provide participants and their families with structure and support. The camp, which is currently in its third year, runs for five weeks at the church’s downtown location, 410 North Main Street.
The event is being organized again this year by St Luke’s parishioners Jay and Lisa Yaggie and David and Cilla Menzies. Registration will be held at 7:45am the day of the race at the Yaggie’s home, 90 West Summit Avenue, Lakewood. Riders may start as soon as they are registered. Donations will be accepted in lieu of registration fees and riders are encouraged to solicit sponsorships. A $25 donation is suggested for registration. A sag wagon will be available throughout the ride and helmets are required for all riders.
“The ride is a 41.4-mile self-paced tour around the entire lake.” explains Yaggie. “There will be plenty of rest stops along the way. We encourage all levels of riders to participate and we will also be offering a half tour (approximately 20 miles) that crosses the lake at Bemus Point for anyone who is not interested in the full loop.”
There will be a rest stop with refreshments at the halfway point and a picnic lunch at the Yaggie’s after completion of the ride.
“This year the route will take us through the new Chadakoin Park Bike Path, which was recently opened as a part of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk.” says Yaggie. “This new section of the ride is not only a beautiful and scenic addition to our annual ride, it helps to avoid the traffic and congestion of Washington Street.”
While the purpose of the ride is to raise funds, the focus is more about fellowship and personal improvement.
“The original intent of the ‘Loop the Lake’ ride was to involve riders of all abilities.” Yaggie adds. “Historically we have had the involvement of serious riders, as well as families and individuals who ride just for fun. The half loop is a great way for the less experienced riders to get involved and enjoy an easier ride. It is a very enjoyable morning, and everyone really seems to have a good time.”
The ride is open to the public – riders do not need to be members of St. Luke’s to participate. Persons interested in riding, donating or volunteering for the event should call the church office at 716-483-6405 or contact Yaggie at email@example.com