The Olmsted Parks and Parkways have a long shared history with cycling, including the following:
- In 1897, in honor of the Board of Park Commissioners who authorized construction of a cinder path for bikes along Southern Parkway, 10,000 bicyclists paraded from downtown Louisville to Southern Parkway and then to Iroquois Park. Bugles and cannon fire marked the parade’s progress while 50,000 spectators watched!
- At Wayside Park on Southern Parkway there is a marble fountain and stone bench designed by famed sculptor Enid Yandell and known as “Wheelmen’s Bench”. It was erected by Kentucky Division of League of American Wheelmen to honor the League’s oldest member, cycling pioneer A.D. Ruff (1827-96), who had bicycled to Yellowstone National Park in 1893.
Cyclists not only enjoy riding both on park roads and trails, but are committed park users who understand the value of the parks to the community; many are dedicated volunteers.
Both KyMBA (Kentucky Mountain Bike Association) and the Louisville Bicycle Club (pictured above) have donated thousands of hours to keeping Olmsted Parks healthy by serving as Park Adoption Partners. KyMBA helps to create and maintain multi-use trails in Cherokee and Seneca Parks. Louisville Bicycle Club members regularly work to improve Wayside Park.
Parkside Bikes generously donated a Dero Fixit Bike Repair Stand to Olmsted Parks Conservancy. The stand is located near the Seneca Park basketball courts on Pee Wee Reese Road.
Thank you to the cycling community for your support of the Olmsted Parks and Parkways though the years!
Louisville will host the 46th Wheelmen National Meet from June 21-25, 2013. Wheelmen worldwide will come together for a four-day celebration of antique cycling. Events at Olmsted Parks include:
- Sunday, June 23, 8:00 pm-Documentary film viewing and Central Park Lamp Ride.
- Tuesday, June 25, 10:00 am-High Wheel Bicycle Race at Shawnee Park.
Visit www.kentuckywheelmen.org for full schedule.