Tour de North End Promotes Bike Safety

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- This was not the Tour de France, but there was a prize.

The third annual Tour de North End saw over 500 riders rolling down the streets of north Rockford.

The event was created to raise awareness about cycling safety, encouraging drivers and cyclists to share the road.

People who participated Saturday afternoon knew the real importance of the event and how bike safety can be a real problem in the area.

"There is a little bit of a safety factor sometimes," said Matt Russell, who rode in the tour. "I'm out riding early in the morning and there's people not paying attention or they get mad because there's a bike in the way. We're not there to slow them down. Just be cautious and watch what you're doing."

There was no designated route for the event and riders could travel around for five hours collecting stamps to earn them a better chance at winning a 2013 Felt/Fat Tire cruiser bicycle.

Participants started at The Olympic Tavern and could travel around to eight other locations including Cliffbreakers, Latham Tap and Mulligans.

Every rider paid $10 to register with $2 going to a cycling charity.

Organizers are doing their best to make the necessary improvements in the area, but they also want some help from the city.

"I think one thing that the city can be doing a better job at is promoting safe cycling and letting people know that with those bike lanes comes a lot more responsibility for drivers and cyclists and it's important for them to both respect the law and learn the roads," said TONE Organizer Zak Rotello.


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