Group cruises through Carson streets

Four-year-old Mikayla Story pedals from the middle seat of the Story family triple-seat bicycle-and-baby-trailer.

Mikayla's a cycling veteran. She graduated from trailer to middle seat a year ago but this is the first year she has to pedal along with her parents, Bill and Sheila Story of Dayton.

"She's been riding since she's six weeks old," Bill Story said. "She had over 2,000 miles before she was one."

Five-month-old Hayden Story get the easy ride for now. He's tucked away in the trailer attached to the rear of the triple.

The Story family and about 20 others checked in before 9 a.m. Sunday at Java Joe's for an 18-mile group bike ride around Carson City. Ride leader Dave Simpson took the pack down Fifth Street and Carson River Road, up Deer Run Road, over on Arrowhead Drive and back along Ormsby Boulevard and Ash Canyon Road.

The ride was put on by Muscle Powered, Citizens for a Walkable and Bikable Carson City. Muscle Powered is a leading advocate to have a bike path built into the Highway 395 project. The path's fate will by decided Tuesday by the state transportation board.

Sunday's ride was an easy loop but Simpson said Carson City is ideally located for the hard-core cyclist.

"We have world-class bicycling here," said Simpson, defining world-class with one word: "Climbing. We have the passes."

On Sunday, all Simpson wanted to do was encourage people to give cycling a chance.

"I always want to get new people involved," said Simpson, who commutes on his bike on Roop Street from the south side to the north side. "It's a great place to ride."

Candice Chartraw moved to Carson City in September from bike haven Palo Alto. She's just starting biking in Carson City.

"I've done it since the Sixties," Chartraw said. "I just like getting outdoors. In Palo Alto, everywhere there are bike ways. It's biker world."

Carson City's bike path/lane network is in its infancy with some lanes just a few blocks long. But bikers say it's easy enough to find less-traveled roads for safe biking.

"It's a short distance to be on a rural road," Bill Story said. "It's quite a ride to do that in Reno."

The Storys lead a biking double life. They make easy rides on the triple with trailer and kids. Solo, Bill and Sheila Story take on the Death Ride in Alpine County.

Bill Story has conquered five passes four of his six times on the Death Ride while Sheila Story topped two, three and three passes in her three Death Rides. Both wore Death Ride jerseys for Sunday's pleasure ride.

"Most people think if they have kids they can't go out riding," Bill Story said. "It just takes a little effort to get ready."

Bicycling has taken on a different function for Anke Simpson, Dave Simpson's wife, since she came to American 12 years ago.

"It's something mainly used for transportation in Germany," she said. "I've really gotten into it as a hobby here. It's a great stress relief."

Dave Simpson said he plans to put on bike events every two weeks. The next is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. May 24, a mountain bike training session at Centennial Park.

"Bicycling is fun," he said. "We have erally good riding here. I just want to raise an awareness that we need through bike paths that go somewhere."

What: The next Muscle Powered bike event

Event: Mountain bike training session

When: 5:30 p.m. May 24

Where: Centennial Park upper parking lot.

Contact: Dave Simpson, 885-7958



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