The 30th Annual Ride the River

June  12, 2014

      A Father's Day tradition will continue in the Quad Cities this weekend. River Action will sponsor the 30th annual Ride the River - a bi-state tour of local bike trails.

      Executive director, Kathy Wine, says their original goal was to promote public access to the Mississippi River because in 1984 the only riverfront trail was a small section of the Ben Butterworth Parkway in Moline.

      "We knew that if we got people to the river and they got to see the views and how much fun it was to be close and connected to it, that they would start to advocate for it, that we'd be able to raise  money for trails, and cities would be able to help us."

      And for the first Ride the River, 5,000 people showed up. Wine admits it took a couple of years to organize the event better - figuring out how best to transport people and their bikes across the river, and the best route for the 20-mile ride.

      "Today we are putting down some strips that have a timeline of when each section of trail was put in. So as the riders goes over the trail, they'll see 1984, 1997, 2000, 2004, and all of those trails that have been added along the way."

      In honor of the anniversary, sponsors will set up displays of what she calls "30 somethings" - including 30 combines from John Deere, and 30 hard hats by Estes Construction. There are also new free gifts for the children - safety lights for their bikes, and bike bells. 

      The 30th annual Ride the River will be held on Sunday, Father's Day, starting and ending at the Freight House in downtown Davenport.