Metro Parks, serving Summit County, is rolling out a new summer bicycling event.
The inaugural Summer Biking Spree will begin on July 1 and provide rewards for bicyclists to ride at least five select sections of the park district’s multi-purpose trails.
“We’re really excited about the new spree,” said spokesman Nate Eppink. “It gives visitors another reason to explore our linear parks, and it’s the perfect companion to Spree for All and the Fall Hiking Spree.”
Those two hiking events together typically get 60,000 participants every year.
The two-month-long biking event will replace the one-day Summer Tour of Metro Parks (STOMP) bike tour that drew more than 1,000 riders annually.
The new event includes four sections of the Bike & Hike Trail, four sections of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and a section of the Freedom Trail from Tallmadge to Kent.
Round-trip distances range from 6.2 miles to 11.4 miles.
Participants must complete five sections by Aug. 31 to earn a reflective commemorative sticker and bicycle license plate or the sticker and a vehicle-window cling.
Out-of-county residents must pay $5 for the rewards.
Spree forms with the list of designated trail sections will be available starting June 15 at www.summitmetroparks.org; the Seiberling Nature Realm, 1828 Smith Road, Akron; park district administrative offices at 975 Treaty Line Road, Akron; Century Cycles at 1621 Main St., Peninsula; and all Acme Fresh Market stores in Summit County.
The event will kick off from noon to 3 p.m. June 30 at Lock 3 park, 200 S. Main St., Akron, with live music, vendors, displays and more. For $10, you can buy a biking spree T-shirt and lunch that day.
All spree forms must be turned in by Oct. 15. One participant, drawn at random, will win a new bike from Century Cycles. The drawing will be held Oct. 16.
For more information, call 330-865-8065 or www.summitmetroparks.org.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.