The 3rd annual Tour de Proviso brought out members of 14 different communities and 450 registered riders on Saturday, October 1 in Riverside. (Shanel Romain/Staff)

The third annual Tour de Proviso rolled through Riverside on Oct. 1 for the first time since the event’s founding in 2020.

The Tour de Proviso is the brainchild of Maywood Trustee Miguel Jones and Broadview Mayor Katrina Thompson. The elected officials said they wanted to promote outdoor recreation and community togetherness during the pandemic.

For its first two years, the biking event, which is a play on the world-famous Tour de France, took place in Bellwood, Broadview and Maywood.

This year’s Tour de Proviso may have been the biggest one yet, with 450 registered riders.

Riverside Village President Joseph Ballerine said he participated in the Tour last year, but this one was particularly special.

“I was honored to have been given this event this year by Mayor Katrina Thompson,” Ballerina said.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to bring our communities together,” Ballerine said. “I have a great working relationship with all the different mayors, so as you can see this is 500-some-odd people and 14 different communities all together on a beautiful fall day. We’re very fortunate.”

North Riverside Mayor Joseph Mengoni and Brookfield Village President Michael Garvey, whose villages include Proviso Township areas, also participated in the event, which included a community expo in Guthrie Park in downtown Riverside. 

In addition to riding through Riverside’s historic, winding streets, cyclists also rode through parts of Brookfield Zoo, about half of which in within Riverside’s corporate limits.

Ian Durbin, 10, said this is his first year participating in the annual bike ride.

“It felt pretty good,” he said. “I liked it and look forward to doing it next year because I like riding my bike.”

Riders also included first responders like Oak Park Police Commander Paul Kane.

“We were glad to come to Riverside and participate,” he said. “It was a wonderful event. It brings people together and gives them an opportunity to enjoy the neighborhood and weather.”

Juanita Crouch, of Broadview, said she usually rides in a bike-riding group that Thompson hosts each Saturday.

“I invited my sisters to come,” Crouch said. “I love the fact that they blocked off the streets along with the police and firemen escorts. People came out and cheered us on. I love how the city welcomed us.”

Next year’s Tour de Proviso will be held in Westchester.