Skunk River Cycles Celebrates National Bike Month

By Virginia Kovach

With the weather getting nicer every day, it might be time to start thinking about changing your mode of transportation. I stopped by Skunk River Cycles to see what owner Ronn Ritz and his staff have been up to for National Bike Month.

“We’re encouraging riders to bike to work,” said Ritz.

This week is National “Bike to Work” Week and Skunk River Cycles will host a commuter breakfast on Friday, May 19, from 7-9 a.m. to reward cyclists for biking to work. The breakfast will be the final one in a string of commuter breakfasts in different locations around town.

The shop participated in a bike rodeo hosted by Ames Kiwanis on May 6, where staff gave safety checks on kids’ bikes and offered an obstacle course to help kids gain confidence in riding.

As Ames moves into its summer season, there are more and more reasons to hop on a bicycle.

“Saturday mornings are a good reason to ride a bicycle to downtown Ames because it’s farmer’s market and there really is no parking if you’re a daily motorist,” Ritz said.

I asked Jacob Nolte, Skunk River Cycles employee, what sort of things he would recommend to someone who is thinking about using a bike more often.

“Get a good reliable bike. It doesn’t have to be a fancy expensive one, but something that fits you well and you know how to ride it and shift gears,” Nolte said. He said having a light in the front as well as the rear of the bike is important for safety.

Nolte said he thinks Ames is a good place for cycling.

“It’s small enough that you can ride across town pretty easily,” he said. “There are a couple good routes, and now that the students are gone, Ames is always a lot quieter in the summertime.”