PARKERSBURG , W.Va. — With weather more suited for mid June rather than mid October, the sixth annual Halloween Costumed Bike Ride attracted about 30 riders for the trek through downtown and the historic district.
John Whitmore, Parkersburg city planner, said prior to Friday’s ride, only 11 people had signed up.
‘We had a RSVP of 11 and we exceeded that,” he said. “This has gotten more popular each year and the weather is perfect.”
Whitmore said the course the riders followed was the historic route. From the Point Park Marketplace parking lot, they rode down Second Street past the new planters, to Avery Street, to Fifth Street and then down Market Street to return to Point Park Marketplace.
Greg Garrett, chairman of the Parkersburg Bicycle Advisory Board, said the four-and a-half mile Halloween ride is one of the rides sponsored to promote bicycle use in the city.
“We had the Park Day last month and the Christmas light ride,” he said. “This is probably the best weather we’ve had for any of them.”
Garrett said there was some concern the ride would take place early on when a freight train stopped on the tracks that cut through the parking lot.
Garrett said he was encouraged by the range of ages that came out for the ride.
“It’s going to be a slow ride through downtown and we have a lot of kids and a lot of adults,” he said. “Some of the adults are wondering if they can stay up with them.”
Garrett said they used a purposed downtown trail that will go up Avery Street, down Market Street and then up to Juliana Street, to Ann Street and back to Market Street.
“This is going to be one of the trails we’ll send tourists on when we get it all marked and signed,” he said. “We set this out to tie in with the mayor’s bike lanes on Juliana Street to give people a way to get to that and someplace to go after you get to 13th Street.”
Prior to the start of the ride Garrett reminded the riders they must follow the rules of the road they would follow if they were driving a car.
“If some of you get stopped at a light, you must stop,” he said. “We will have the opportunity to regroup at the next light or stop sign.”
When they returned to Point Park they were treated to light refreshments and there was a transportation planning network session.