On the morning of August 13, 65 cyclists pedaled out of Laureate Park for a 38-mile trek through St. Cloud and the surrounding area. Even though every Sunday the Nona Cycle group makes their signature ride, this one was a little special. That is because it was the one-year anniversary of Nona Cycle Facebook page, and there was a lot to celebrate. Just a year ago, the group consisted of only 14 riders, and the Sunday rides were attended by between 5-8 riders. We were just starting out and needed a way to motivate and support each other with hopes to build up our group for the Tour de Cure and Ride For Ronald charity rides. Never did we think it would grow so much and so quickly. Today, the Nona Cycle group has grown to more than 200 cyclists, and new members are joining every day!
Lake Nona turns out to be a great place to ride and also a fun place to celebrate. The anniversary “post ride” was held at the Laureate Park Aquatic Center and was sponsored by Pearl Izumi cycling gear. They donated loads of cycling clothing, and we also received items from Evolution Bike Shop in Celebration and the Nona Brew Crew to give away. There is no better way to cool off and relax after the long ride than to stand under the Splash Bucket and spend time with other cyclists.
Although we are gaining seasoned riders, Nona Cycle is also focusing on new cyclists and cyclists who haven’t been on their bikes in a while. Every Saturday at 8:30 a.m., Nona Cycle meets at Canvas Restaurant parking lot and hosts a beginners’ ride. Riders from all levels have been showing up for this one-hour slower pace ride to get people used to being on their bikes and, more importantly, riding in a group. We provide safety tips and the “rules” for group rides. It takes a little time to adjust, but once you try it, you’ll see the benefits immediately.
If you would like to join our cycling group, visit http://nonahood.to/nonacycle. Also, you can simply show up for our Sunday Rides. They start at 7:30 a.m. at Canvas Restaurant and have A and B group rides depending on your abilities. We are not certain what the future holds for Nona Cycle, but we are excited where the path has taken us so far.