Bike Ripley is sponsoring a Mayor’s Ride community event with a goal of increasing awareness of outdoor family recreation opportunities. It is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17, in Ripley City Park.

Mayor Carolyn Rader says the free group ride serves as kick-off in Ripley.

“We’re hoping to increase community awareness about the benefits of bicycling,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity for families to get outside and exercise together. Also, we want to get the message out for drivers to be aware of folks who are riding bicycles and for them to share the road.”

Mayor’s Ride participants are encouraged to gather with their bikes at the gazebo near the pool in Ripley City Park. After brief opening remarks, the group ride will proceed along a 1.5-mile course through the park and the adjacent neighborhood. The City of Ripley has purchased additional signage identifying the course.

Others are getting involved in Bike Ripley. Pilot Club, for instance, is making a limited supply of helmets available.

Jim Bush is among the organizers of Bike Ripley. The long-time bike enthusiast says the Mayor’s Ride provides a good introduction to the community.

“We want to introduce our new biking program in Ripley,” he said. “At the same time, we want to raise awareness of bike safety and laws. Bicycling has numerous benefits such as improving health and wellness.”

The organization has a long-term goal of making the Ripley area a biking destination, according to Bush.

“Bike Ripley has great potential,” he added. “There is no downside to a biking community. We want to build and expand trails and tracks, encourage social interaction through rides and events, and strengthen the economy through bike tourism.

“We can build a bike friendlier community and everyone benefits,” Bush said. “We invite everyone to get on board with the Mayor’s Ride.”

In the event of bad weather, the ride will be rescheduled Saturday, Oct. 24.