Ride Elyria is a group you will know if you are biking around Elyria. The cycling group organized in 2016 with a few founding members, Art Poling, Shane Croxton, and Todd Lattea. Their passion for bikes and cycling was something to share and has grown since. Andrea Repko, shared more with us to help you get to know Bike Elyria, how they share getting out to ride in Elyria, act as cycling advocates, and enjoy referring to those on their group rides as "Bike Gang."
MOVE: Who is Ride Elyria? How do you serve the group?
Andrea: Ride Elyria's main founders are Todd Lattea, Shane Croxton and Art Poling. I happened to join in 2018. I was sort of new to the main area in Elyria and wanted to meet new people. I enjoy riding my bike and I saw there was a bike group in Elyria. I met with them one day in the summer of 2018 and have been riding since. I have slowly gotten to know a lot of the people that ride each week. I thought it would be a good idea to have a group picnic, let loose and have fun, and other outings as a group such as bike rides to other places or meetings in other places to ride there. I guess that's how I got my role as "President" even though it's very unofficial haha
MOVE: Where does Ride Elyria serve?
Andrea: Elyria! And we have gotten some folks from other cities to join as well (Sandusky, Lorain, Cleveland).
MOVE: Is there a mission that drives connection to the community? Would you describe it for me?
Andrea: Good Question. I don't believe there's a set in stone mission from Ride Elyria itself, but overall, I believe it's about encouraging people to get out and be active whether it's biking, walking, or even hiking. We want everyone that's able to join on the bike rides or ride in their neighborhoods or wherever they're comfortable. We have had some rides where Mayor Whitfield has joined, we've been involved in the Memorial Day Parades, have been photographed and written about in the local newspaper, The Chronicle-Telegram, and I talk about our bike group anywhere I go to ride. We ride down some of the same streets weekly and we have people who get excited to see us that wave and cheer us on. I believe it's a great group and we are doing good by spreading cheer, in some ways, to people in the community. We are also creating awareness of bicyclists. There have been numerous times where people take to the community pages online to complain about bicyclists being in the road but they fail to realize that we also have that right and invite them to have a conversation about the bike laws in hopes that they can respect that right and maybe just slow down and be safe.
MOVE: Will you tell me about how it began and came to organize with leadership structure?
Andrea: I was not there for the formation of the group, but from what I have been told, it started by people who enjoyed riding bikes and have been doing so for quite a while, we're looking to form a bike-riding group that didn't necessarily exclude any types of bicycles. As we know, there are many types of bikes and sometimes there are groups limited to BMX, or mountain bikes, etc. This is something to get Elyria residents moving.
MOVE: Why did Ride Elyria form? What keeps it going?
Andrea: Bikes keep it going, and the people pedaling them. Weather permitting, it's every Wednesday at Dairy Queen at 7 (or 8 pm in spring/summer) that we meet and ride. I can count on a familiar face and a new face at each ride. Some people have started weekly rides on different days of the weeks - a slow cruise, an ice cream ride, a ride to visit all of the Rec Centers Elyria has to offer and some are "hey, let's just ride." It brings people together regardless of any other reason than we like to bike.
MOVE: Thank you very much for the time to get to know you and Ride Elyria. Is there anything else you would like to share about the group or yourself?
Andrea: I'm grateful to be a part of the group, a part of the community, and to have had this opportunity. There's always room for improvement and it's something I strive for so I hope that this brings awareness to people reading it and if there are any questions that can be answered, I'd love to be able to do that for them.