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Panhandle Pedalers look to Grow

By Staff | Jun 5, 2015

The Panhandle Pedalers look to invite new membership on rides held all across the region.

Formed in 2009, the cycling club is meant to promote the sport of cycling and to be a local alternative to biking alone.

“The main purpose of the club is to connect,” said Jen Bean, secretary for the group and a founding member.

Formed by a group who used to populate a local Gold’s gym after they decided it’d be fun to take bike rides together, Bean said the club is both a social opportunity and an opportunity for increased safety.

“There’s safety in numbers,” she said.

At about 90 active members, the Panhandle Pedalers have grown to host rides of varying lengths, beginning and ending in locations throughout the panhandle.

On Monday’s locals interested can join the group on a ride leaving Shepherdstown. Beginning at 6 p.m. the 15 to 20 mile ride starts at the Shepherdstown Food Lion in Maddex Farms shopping center.

This ride is classified as “beginner friendly,” according to the groups web site: panhandlepedalers.com/weeklyrides.

Though official Beginners Rides are held on Thursday evenings beginning at Currie Lane Trailhead in Ranson.

Bean said the group offers rides for bikers of all skill levels, so newbies can find just the right pace with the group.

“People are welcome to come out for the weekly rides and try them out,” she said.

She said the club is interested in expanding its rides further by offering rides tailored for families with children, as well as rides for seniors.

Bean said the group hopes incorporate the interests of members who prefer to ride off-road.

She said C&O Canal rides are in the works.

The group also holds road clean ups three times each year along US Route 9, as part go the Adopt a Highway Program, according to Bean.

“We’ve adopted the bike path,” she said.

Last Saturday the group raised $1400 for Meals on Wheels of Jefferson County at one of two annual events, the Poker Run Metic Century Ride.

The group also holds it Ride of Silence event each year. An international event, cyclists honor those injured or killed while cycling on public roadways.

This year, the local club chose to ride in honor of Shepherdstown resident Gabe Bauserman, who was killed after being struck by a car wile riding his bicycle last fall.

Gabe’s mom Maura participated in the ride and called it a “most fulfilling,” honor.

The next meeting of the group will be held June 18 at 7 p.m. at the Jefferson Memorial Park In Charles Town. A “beginners ride” will immediately proceed the meeting.

To find more information about the Panhandle Pedalers, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PanhandlePedalers.