LOUISVILLE, Ky., – Thousands of cyclists, walkers, canoeists and kayakers will hit the streets and the Ohio River on Labor Day for the 22nd Subway Fresh Fit Hike, Bike & Paddle Sept. 7 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. “It’s a great way for families and friends to celebrate the holiday weekend.”
Subway Restaurants is the title sponsor of Hike, Bike & Paddle, with presenting sponsors, Coca-Cola, Norton Healthcare and Neil Huffman Automotive Group. “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 North America. “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 welcomes the continued opportunity to support the Mayor’s Hike, Bike & Paddle event,” said Allison Ledford, director of Employee Wellness at Norton Healthcare. “Being part of the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement dovetails perfectly with our mission to meet the healthcare needs of our community. It’s also a great reminder to our 12,000 employees and others throughout our area that healthy habits, lifestyles and choices are not only an investment in a stronger community. They can also be a whole lot of fun.”
“Neil Huffman Automotive Group is proud to be a Four Year sponsor of the Mayor’s Hike, Bike and Paddle Event for Labor Day Weekend. It is an event in which our employees can participate and enjoy with their families and it gives them a sense of pride.” says Dow Huffman, Managing Partner.
Paddlers will begin their adventurous five-mile course at 10 a.m., taking 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 at the launch site.
Organizers are attempting a Guinness World Record for most paddlers in a lock system.
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 walking and cycling routes will be marked with signage and will have plenty of water stops. The Louisville YMCA will lead the hike. The Louisville Bicycle Club will provide “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 marshals will join the route to assist cyclists with any equipment problems. LMPD will provide traffic assistance at key intersections and the Louisville Metro EMS bicycle team will patrol the route.
Yoga, Tai Chi, Zumba, Nia, pickleball and “Play Ball” demonstrations and group participation along with information stations will be offered starting at8:30 a.m. at Waterfront Park.
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. Filling stations will be located in Waterfront and Shawnee Parks as part of Louisville Water’s Pure Tap To Go program.
This is the eleventh 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.hikebikeandpaddle.org.
Additional support is provided by Lite 106.9, Outfront Media and Scheller’s Fitness & Cycling.
If You Go:
Subway Fresh Fit Hike, Bike & Paddle
Labor Day, Sept. 7, 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, Nia and “Play Ball” demonstrations with group participation 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.