Heritage Trail Bicycle Tour returns

File photo Cyclists participate in the 2023 Wheeling Heritage Trail Bicycle Tour. The 2024 tour will be held Sunday, May 26, as part of the Ogden Newspapers Wellness Weekend presented by WVU Medicine.

WHEELING — When the Wheeling Heritage Trail Bicycle Tour returned last year to the Sunday of the Ogden Newspapers Wellness Weekend presented by WVU Medicine, it was welcomed with open arms by cyclists of all skill levels. That’s partially because the tour had a place for all skill levels.

Tour coordinator Jim Adams said last year’s event was the best attended in a number of years. Organizers are hoping for even better numbers this year, when the tour returns at 7 a.m. Sunday, May 26, originating from Wheeling’s Waterfront.

“The Ohio Valley Trail Partners appreciate the ability to partner with the Ogden Newspapers Wellness Weekend,” Adams said. “It’s another piece of a great event. It’s fun, because those that maybe aren’t runners or walkers, that are cyclists, can participate in the Wellness Weekend and enjoy it, as well.”

Adams said the tour offers something for any kind of cyclist, as shown in the three distances they can ride. There are 15-kilometer, 50-kilometer and 100-kilometer courses to give beginners, families, intermediate riders and hardcore cyclists opportunities to enjoy the ride and challenge themselves at the same time.

The 100-kilometer ride kicks things off with a 7:30 a.m. takeoff.

That path sends riders out to Bethany with a stop at Bethany College. It’s the most challenging course with loops on hilly roads.

Adams said it’s also the most populous group of the day.

“That brings in the most people from outside the area,” he said.

The 50-kilometer course, which sets out at 8 a.m., goes up the Ohio River and turns back around the Ohio County/Brooke County line. The 15-kilometer course, which starts at 9 a.m., sends cyclists south on the trail, into South Wheeling and back. There will be a snack and water stops along the way on the 50- and 100-kilometer courses.

“It’s kind of an intergenerational event,” Adams said. “So we see young kids coming out and riding, and we have folks that are retired that come out and ride. That makes it a lot of fun because families can participate, but if you’re a single person, you can come out and participate.

“That’s really what we enjoy about it,” he added. “It’s the community experience that I think people love.”

Every participant is required to wear a helmet, and entrants under age 18 must be accompanied by a registered adult. The bike tour will happen rain or shine and all riders will enjoy a post-ride lunch, which is included with registration cost.

The bike tour is scheduled so that participants can enjoy the other parts of the day, including the Tough As Nails Urban Challenge presented by The Health Plan, which begins at noon May 26. The tour and the Tough As Nails are two of the three legs of the Ultra Urban Challenge presented by Bordas & Bordas. The third is the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic, which will be held the morning of Saturday, May 25.

And even if bike tour participants want to just stick to cycling, there’s plenty to enjoy that day. A free concert featuring The Vindys and Billy the Kid and the Regulators will be held May 26, with The Vindys performing at 1:30 p.m. and Billy the Kid and the Regulators taking the stage at 3:30 p.m.

“The return of the Wheeling Heritage Trail Bicycle Tour to the Sunday of the Ogden Newspapers Wellness Weekend presented by WVU Medicine was a great thing,” said Perry Nardo, general manager of The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register. “It’s a very popular component of the weekend, as seen with last year’s turnout. This year’s tour is another fantastic opportunity for people of all ages to get a good day’s exercise, one that casual cyclists and veterans of the sport can enjoy equally.”

Money raised by the Wheeling Heritage Trail Bicycle Tour supports expansion and care for the Wheeling Heritage Trail, trail projects, and trail equipment and continued advocacy for bike/pedestrian connections in our local community. Those seeking more information about the race routes can call Quick Service Bicycle Shop at 740-635-3700 or email tour@quickservicecycle.com. General tour questions can be answered via email at OVtrailpartners@gmail.com or by calling 304-715-BIKE.

Adams said cyclists are encouraged to pre-register. Registration can be found at ogdenwellnessweekend.com.


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