Residents and cycling enthusiasts of Flossmoor came together on a sunny Saturday morning to participate in the fourth annual Bike the Gem community bike ride. Riders were treated to a scenic 6.5-mile route through the charming Flossmoor neighborhoods. Furthermore, they were granted a sneak peek of the course for the highly anticipated Hidden Gem Half Marathon, set to take place on Saturday, Sep. 9.
Flossmoor’s Future, the group responsible for the Half Marathon, also organized the ride. The event brought out over 130 participants, drawing riders of all ages together to cruise the streets.
The day’s events started at 10 a.m., with check-ins at the Infant Jesus of Prague School parking lot. As the riders gathered, exchanging stories and advice, GoodSpeed Cycles, diligently checked and double-checked riders’ equipment to ensure a safe ride. Bank Financial passed out goodies to participants and answered questions.
At precisely 11 a.m., cyclists began their journey through the village. Representatives of GoodSpeed Cycles followed with e-bikes, offering to switch out bikes as riders made their way up the hill on Braeburn Avenue.
According to new resident and first-time rider Lorie Jordan, the tree-lined streets of Flossmoor made for the perfect ride and allowed her to meet new neighbors.
“It’s a nice little cruise,” said Homewood resident and third-time participant David Stelk. “I like looking at the different houses. It’s scenic for sure.”
The event organizers went the extra mile by arranging the Children’s Ride to ensure the community’s younger members were included. This unique ride covered a 13-block route and was exclusively reserved for children aged eight and under, with accommodation from parents and grandparents.
One of the event coordinators and members of Flossmoor’s Future, Cheryl Tolish, expressed her excitement about Bike the Gem and how it’s grown over the years. She explained how the first ride, which took place in 2019, was a completely new idea but has become a popular community event that kicks off the summer months.
“I just love seeing them take off,” said Tolish, speaking of the riders.
Upon completing their ride, the cyclists were met with a lively gathering at the beloved Flossmoor Station to commemorate this significant achievement. As the festivities were in full swing, an unexpected treat awaited the attendees — the grand revelation of the exclusive Hidden Gem Brew. The special brew was crafted solely for the event, giving riders a unique and memorable way to celebrate their successful ride completion.