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Features

Enjoy a bike ride before cookouts and fireworks

Joliet Bicycle Club's annual event attracts up to 1,000 cyclists

The 4th of July Century dates back to 1975 and attracts about 1,000 people each year. A variety of ride lengths are available so cyclists of all ages and abilities can participate.
The 4th of July Century dates back to 1975 and attracts about 1,000 people each year. A variety of ride lengths are available so cyclists of all ages and abilities can participate.

Every year for many years, the Joliet Bicycle Club has hosted a group ride for the Joliet area community on the Fourth of July.

Bill Lang of Frankfort, one of the club's founders, feels that's a perfect date for a ride.

"Because on the fourth of July, a lot of people are off," Lang said. "On the Fourth of July, a lot of people don't go out of town. It's not like Labor Day or Memorial Day where you have a long weekend. People tend to stick closer to home. So we would have a lot of bicycle riders. The last few years we've had over 1,000 riders."

In addition, a bike ride won't interfere with other holidays plans.

"You could have a ride in the morning. We have a lot of people so you can meet your bicycle friends," Lang said. "Then the afternoon and evening was pretty much free for you to have your family activities."

The club offers 30, 50, 75, and 100-mile routes for the 4th of July Century so riders of any age and ability may participate, Lang said.

"It's definitely all ages," Lang said. "We have family rides; they don't go very far. Or they can ride to Plattville and back. And we go heavy on the snacks."

What happens if the weather is inclement? Most likely ride, Lang said.

"I don't think we've ever had to cancel," Lang said. "We had rides where it rained and people got wet. And we've had some over the years where the temperatures were really cold. But I can't remember coming out and saying, 'The ride has been cancelled.' I don't think we've ever done that. These rides go rain or shine."

This 4th of July Century dates back to 1975, when the club was still in its infancy, Lang said.

"In its infancy, we did it out of Highland Park on the east side of Joliet," Lang said. "Then when they built Bicentennial Park on Bluff Street, we had the ride out of there for a few years. Somewhere along the line, we moved out to Plainfield South High School, right around the turn of 2000."

IF YOU GO

WHAT: 4th of July Century – 2019

WHEN: July 4. Registration and check-in opens at 7 a.m. All riders must be off the road by 4 p.m.

WHERE: Riders gather at Plainfield South High School, 7800 W. Caton Farm Road, Plainfield and then ride to the Plattville SAG.

COST: $30.

REGISTER: Online at jolietbicycleclub.com or by cash or check the day of the ride.

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