The Riverside bicycle routes are now officially open. Thank you to everyone who turned out this past Sunday for the ribbon-cutting and inaugural ride of the routes. The sun came out as if on cue, making the day a shining success.

It was great to see many residents and visitors come together for the event. Paul Sterner, of the Riverside Cycling Club, led the inaugural ride, and it was great to have Tom Jacobs, of the Riverside Sustainability Council, cut the ribbon along with his children. The new bicycle routes would not exist with the dedication of Paul, Tom, and their organizations. It was years in coming, but worth the wait.

Our village’s executive secretary and village clerk, Cathy Haley, was instrumental in reaching out to the Active Transportation Alliance, and they helped to spread the word to the larger cycling community. Dan’s Bike Shop was also very generous by volunteering their time to do free bike checks for those who came out to celebrate the day.

Thank you, too, to the Riverside Chamber of Commerce, Riverside Historical Museum, and the Illinois Historical Preservation Agency for supporting the new Riverside Big Map that was showcased on Sunday. The map, designed by Greg Gorski, shows the bicycle routes, landmark homes and buildings, and historical points of interest, and includes a civic and business guide. Please look for the maps in our local businesses, and pass some along to your out-of-town friends.

Olmsted believed that public recreation was a civic good, essential not only for the individual, but for the health and well-being of a community as a community. If there was ever any doubt of this powerful idea, this past Sunday proved him right.

Ben Sells
Village trustee