Mayor’s Hike, Bike & Paddle returns on Memorial Day
Thousands of cyclists, paddlers and walkers will be on the move again at the Mayor’s Hike, Bike & Paddle Monday, May 31 as it returns for a 17th consecutive Memorial Day at Waterfront Park. All portions of the event have been reworked to ensure participants will be socially distanced.
“One of our city’s goals is to make Louisville a healthier city. That’s been especially challenging for the last 14 months. But that means the need for many of us to get out and get moving is greater than ever,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Every year, one of the best things about Hike, Bike & Paddle is that there are people who come here and exercise maybe for the first time in a while and then begin a more regular commitment. That’s what we want to encourage – and celebrate.”
Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated and Norton Healthcare are returning as presenting sponsors of the Mayor’s annual healthy lifestyle event. Event partners include Louisville Water Company, Louisville Waterfront Park, River City Paddle Sports and Scheller’s Fitness & Cycling.
“What a perfect opportunity to spend some time outdoors and enjoy some fun with family and friends,” said Audie Wilson, senior director of retail sales, Coca-Cola Consolidated. “We love supporting this event every year as we know how important it is to the Louisville Community.”
“As a nationally recognized healthiest employer, we are committed to providing a culture of health and wellness within our organization and throughout the community. Making the time for exercise, a key area of self-care, has been especially important during the past year and remains essential,” said Russell F. Cox, president and chief executive officer, Norton Healthcare. “It’s exciting this event is once again live, and we encourage everyone to live a healthy lifestyle and participate in this fun event.”
T-shirts will be available for the first 2,000 participants.
The event also provides an opportunity for participants to get vaccinated. LouVax’s Mobile Missions has played a key role in vaccinating tens of thousands of individuals across the Metro area and will be on hand to reach even more residents, said Dr. SarahBeth Hartlage, Associate Medical Director for the Louisville Department of Public Health and Wellness.
“We are happy to have a LouVax mobile mission Hike, Bike & Paddle and have three safe and effective vaccines readily available and easy to get all over our community,” she said. “Being vaccinated allows you to reclaim many of the missed moments from last year like the Memorial Day Hike Bike & Paddle. The faster more people in our community get vaccinated, the faster we can reclaim more of those moments, living free as before and get back to doing all the things we loved to do before the pandemic.”
Appointments are not required and those wanting to receive the vaccine will only need to provide their name and date of birth. Proof of insurance is preferred, but not required in order to be vaccinated.
For hikers, this year features three routes, as the first option will travel along Waterfront Park to the Big Four Bridge and then back toward the Great Lawn. The second option is a 5K route traveling along Waterfront Park, over the Big Four Bridge to Indiana and back to the Great Lawn. The third option will accommodate hikers walking with their four-legged friends, traveling along Waterfront Park to the Louisville Community Boathouse to River Road and back to the Great Lawn.
The 15-mile bike route will take cyclists along Waterfront Park to Market Street past the new Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Center. Cyclists will continue to Shawnee Park and back to the Great Lawn. Turnoffs will provide options for cycling routes as short as two miles on this closed-loop route secured by LMPD. There will be signage along the route.
Experienced cyclists will take off first at 9 a.m. The Louisville Bicycle Club and Scheller’s Fitness and Cycle are providing “bike captains” to help cyclists follow the rules of the road. The event will have rolling starts similar to Tour De Lou or the Derby Festival Mini Marathon.
“Bike doctors” will be stationed in Waterfront Park before the ride and 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. All cyclists are asked to remain behind the lead police vehicles.
The paddling activity features a new route as participants will start at the Community Boat House, and willgo behind Tow Head Island, Waterfront Botanical Gardens and up Beargrass Creek.
Due to COVID, the event will not have Voyager Canoe rides or rentals from Harbor Lawn. Those features might be back for the Labor Day edition of Hike, Bike & Paddle.
New interactive hike, bike and paddle maps will be available online soon. In addition, there will be turn-by-turn directions and route information that can be used on the day of the event. Look for the updated information on the main Hike, Bike, and Paddle webpage.
Starting at 8 a.m., the event will showcase demonstrations and group participation in Yoga, Tai Chi, Zumba in socially distanced PODs on Waterfront’s South Great Lawn.
Participants are encouraged to bring water bottles, as there will be no refill station this year, but Coca-Cola will provide bottled refreshments upon completion of hike or bike activity.
This is the 17th year for the Hike, Bike & Paddle 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.
Media sponsors include MIX 106.9, Louisville Public Media, Outfront Media and WLKY.