The Union Area Chamber of Commerce had to drop plans for a competitive bike race due to safety concerns.
Instead, the biking event that is being introduced as part of the annual Founders Day run, will be a “family fun ride,” according to Stacy Rio, an event organizer.
Plans had called for a 16K bike ride this year to go along with a 5K run and walk, and 10K run. The annual event is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and will be Saturday, June 7.
“I think it’s a great idea making it for families,” said Alderman Karen Erwin.
Police Chief Norman Brune said that a race through city streets would require roads to be barricaded and more personnel.
He added that bicyclists would be required to obey signs, which would limit the competitiveness of the race.
“The issue I have with a bike race, is that they (bicyclists) would be required by law to abide by the rules of the road,” he said. “That includes stop signs.”
“They want to finish as fast as they can,” Brune added. “That isn’t something they can do without an open roadway.”
He further explained that the race was planned before city officials were able to weigh in.
“We saw the dangers of doing it without having street closures and it created problems,” Brune said.
The difference between runners and cyclists is that there are less distractions for runners, such as helmets and speed.
“Runners can come to an intersection and move through safely so we don’t have to have somebody at every intersection,” he said.
Brune explained that he is not against a competitive race if there is proper planning
“We look forward to working with the Chamber to establish that in the future,” he said.
“I think it would be nice to have. We could set up different routes that are beneficial for racers without too much of a hardship for motorists,” Brune added.
Bicyclists all will be required to wear helmets in the family fun ride.
About the Run
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the city park large pavilion. The preregistration fee is $25 for participants 12 and older; and $30 the day of the event. There are prizes and trophies in various age groups for the events.
People may pick up packets after noon Friday, June 6, at the Union Chamber office located at 103 S. Oak St., Union. For more information people may call the Chamber at 636-583-8979. More information and course maps are available online at the Chamber Facebook page.
There are three different routes for runners, walkers and bicyclists.