WORTHINGTON — New public bike racks will roll into Worthington just in time for King Turkey Day, encouraging residents to use active transportation.
Purchased by the city of Worthington using a grant from the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP), the portable bike racks will be set up by the fire hall and the Farmers Market parking lot for King Turkey Day and other events.
“We’re calling them mobile bike racks, and we’ll provide them as needed for other community events, so they can just ask for them and use them as much as they please,” said Cecilia Bofah, SHIP Coordinator.
To celebrate the new equipment, a bike ride event will take place at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 15 during King Turkey Day. Starting at the fire hall, residents will go on a ride around the city and travel down South Shore Drive, First Avenue, Crailsheim Drive, Oxford Street, Park Avenue and Lake Avenue. The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota will provide 20 bikes to rent for free on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“We have people coming to the city for King Turkey Day, so this a way to showcase the availability of facilities for people to bike if they want to,” Bofah said. “It’s also just a good day to get people out and hang out with family.”
The event is organized by Worthington’s Community Wellness Partners and Active Living Plan (ALP) group.
“Our ALP group, with the help of staff members Christine Bullerman and Cecilia Bofah, really made this happen,” Worthington Community and Economic Development Director Jason Brisson said. “I am very thankful we have them pushing healthy initiatives and active transportation in the city.”
The SHIP grant paid for three bike racks. More will be purchased thanks to an additional grant from United Way.
The focus on biking also goes along with SHIP’s goal of creating healthier communities across Minnesota by expanding opportunities to be active. In the future, the bike racks may be supplied with full-time rental bikes, though it might not be for awhile.
“As a group we’ve talked about having bikes available for rental, but I don’t think that will be ready for this year yet,” Bofah said.