Creating a more “bicycle-friendly” community is just one goal of the Get Healthy Knox County Coalition. The coalition invited Yay Bikes!, a bike advocacy group based in Columbus, to organize a bike ride for local officials through the city of Mount Vernon this past September. Their mission was to educate riders on how to safely cycle in and around the city, determine challenges and point out ways the city can keep cyclists and motorists safe.
The riders were made up of local officials from the Mount Vernon City Council, United Way of Knox County, the Knox County Health Department, the YMCA, Knox Board of Developmental Disabilities, Knox County Commissioners, and the Knox County Park District.
Tami Ruhl, Creating Healthy Communities Coordinator at the Knox County Health Department, as well as Catherine Girves, Executive Director of Yay Bikes!, led a discussion on how to make Knox County more bike-friendly and what that might entail. Riders commented that education is needed for both motorists and bicyclists to let them know what to do when riding or encountering bikes on the road.
The Get Healthy Knox County Coalition will continue to partner with local officials to increase awareness of the ability to use different types of transportation. Centerburg and Danville both now have bicycle lending programs available to the public. Check out a bike for “free” from the Centerburg Library or Danville Outdoors and take advantage of the miles of scenic bike trails in Knox County, or ride to your favorite local eatery for lunch!