Mayor Stephen Hagerty, Police Chief Demitrous Cook and Alderman Ann Rainey opened Bike the Ridge at Howard Street just after 9 a.m. on Sept. 20.
Unlike last year, when overcast skies and a constant drizzle kept many away from the popular annual event, the perfect almost-fall weather drew more than 500 people, all wearing masks and most riding bicycles, to enjoy Ridge Avenue without cars. Bicycles are not allowed on Ridge Avenue at any other time.
Evanston Police Officers and members of the City’s Community Emergency Response Team, ensured no vehicles would enter Ridge Avenue from the cross streets. Evanston Police Officer Otis Velma and EPD Sergeant Tracy Williams were at the east intersection of Ridge Avenue and Monroe Street. Sgt. Williams was making his way up from Howard Street, while Officer Williams monitored the intersection.
Musicians from the School of Rock entertained bicyclers. pedestrians and passersby on the lawn of Ridgeville Park District’s field house on Seward Street.
Some cyclists biked from Howard Street to Church Street and back again before the close of the event at 1 p.m. Many stopped to visit with friends and enjoy the sunny, 70 degree day.
Bike the RIdge co-chair Michael Miro said that participants were well spread out over the course of the event. “We’re just very grateful to keep this tradition alive. A lot of traditions unfortunately had to be cancelled this year. An outdoor event like this – that still gets the community out of the house – I think is really important. So I’m really glad the City helped us jump through all the hoops that we needed to jump through to make it happen,” said Mr. Miro.