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Mayor’s Hike, Bike & Paddle Returns Labor Day

Thursday August 14, 2014

  Hiking, paddling, walking begins at 10 a.m.

Thousands of cyclists, walkers, canoeists and kayakers will hit the streets and the Ohio River on Labor Day for the 20th Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Subway Fresh Fit Hike, Bike & Paddle Sept. 1 at Waterfront Park.

“We’re always looking to improve and grow this incredibly popular event which has become a destination for cyclists, paddlers, walkers and others who just want a fun, high-energy start to their day,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “We set an attendance record on Memorial Day, so we’re out to break that mark on Labor Day.”

Subway Restaurants is the title sponsor of Hike, Bike & Paddle, with presenting sponsors, Coca-Cola, Norton Sports Health and Thorntons.

"SUBWAY Restaurants are proud to once again sponsor the SUBWAY Fresh Fit Hike, Bike & Paddle events. The events give people an opportunity to lead healthy, active lifestyles," said Kevin Patel, Louisville Subway Board Chair.

“Coca-Cola is proud to be a Presenting Sponsor of the Mayor’s Hike, Bike and Paddle activity on Labor Day,” said Roy Potts, director, Public Affairs & Communications for the Coca-Cola Company. “We recognize the uniqueness of consumers’ lifestyles and dietary choices. All of our products can be part of an active, healthy lifestyle that includes a sensible, balanced diet, proper hydration and regular, physical exercise.”

“Norton Healthcare is honored to support this year’s Hike, Bike & Paddle event,” said Allison Ledford, director of Employee Wellness at Norton Healthcare. “With a mission to respond to the health care needs of our community, our goal is much the same as the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement — foster a culture of health and wellness in our hometown. Just like the Healthy Hometown Movement, we know that maintaining your wellbeing is easier when people are surrounded by options that make it easy and fun to be healthy.”

"We are proud to call Louisville our hometown and support the movement into a healthier tomorrow," said Thorntons, Inc. president and CEO Matt Thornton. "Our sponsorship is a sign of our commitment to the community where we live, work and play."

Paddlers will have two options at the event. At 10 a.m., they can take a 2 mile course from Harbor Lawn in Waterfront Park to Beargrass Creek and back.  A more adventurous course at 11 a.m. will take canoeists and kayakers through the McAlpine Locks and Dam to the Jaycees Boat Ramp in New Albany. TARC will offer a shuttle service for paddlers to retrieve their vehicles back at the launch site.

Paddling participants will launch their canoes or kayaks at the river ramp located at the Harbor Lawn of Waterfront Park. Paddlers can drop their boats off at the “Green” parking lot near River Road and Witherspoon St. from 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Police and safety boats will be nearby during the paddling activity and all participants will have assistance if needed in launching their canoe or kayak. Safe paddling instruction and demonstrations will take place in the Harbor area of the Great Lawn starting at 8 a.m.

For cyclists, a 15-mile route will leave Waterfront Park and go west through the Portland Stroll District to Shawnee Park, one of Louisville’s signature Olmsted-designed Metro Parks. Turnoffs will provide cycling routes as short as two miles.

The hiking route, which is wheelchair-accessible, will take walkers west along the waterfront, along portions of the Riverwalk and wharf to 10th St. and back. Walkers can bring their dogs on the hike, but must keep them on a leash and pick up waste as required by law.

Both the cycling and walking routes will be marked with signage and will have plenty of water stops. The Louisville Bicycle Club is providing “bike captains” to help cyclists obey the rules of the road. There will be an “inflation station” at Waterfront Park before the ride and Bike Marshalls along the route to assist cyclists with any equipment problems. Louisville Metro Police will provide traffic assistance at key intersections and the Louisville Metro EMS bicycle team will patrol the route.

A healthy marketplace with nutritional snacks, free children’s activities, and informational booths will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Waterfront Park. There will also be free tours on the river in the large “Voyager Canoe.” Yoga, Tai Chi, Zumba, Nia and Pickleball demonstrations will be offered along with group participation.

Free T-shirts will be available for the first 3,000 participants who complete a short survey and the Brain Injury Association will distribute 500 helmets to riders who don’t have one.

Participants are encouraged to be “green” and bring their own water bottles which they will be able to fill in Waterfront and Shawnee Parks as part of Louisville Water’s Pure Tap To Go program. For those without a water bottle, the Louisville Metro Parks Foundation will have them available for sale on-site.

This is the tenth year for the events, which are held each Memorial Day and Labor Day. The events are part of the city’s Healthy Hometown Movement, created to encourage Louisville residents to be more active and make healthier lifestyle choices. For more information, go to www.hikebikeandpaddlelouisville.com.

Additional support is provided by CBS Outdoor, Louisville Public Media and Neil Huffman Automotive Group.
If You Go:
Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Subway Fresh Fit Hike, Bike & Paddle
Labor Day, Sept. 1, 8 a.m. at Waterfront Park
Starting point for cyclists and walkers is on Witherspoon Street near Preston St. Paddlers will put in at the Ohio River ramp on the Harbor Lawn of Waterfront Park. Booths open at 8:30 a.m. offering paddling instruction and safety lessons, cycling information and assistance, yoga, tai chi, Zumba, Pickleball and Nia demonstrations with group participation, healthy snacks and more. On-street parking is available near Waterfront Park. All TARC buses are equipped with bicycle racks for cyclists who want to leave the car at home.