In just two short years, Bike the Bend has become a revered South Bend tradition. I had to double-check that this was, indeed, only the 2nd year of the now-annual event since it has settled so quickly and naturally into the rhythm of the community. Of course I'm doing Bike the Bend. Aren't you?
Maybe this is because of the rather ingeniously simple concept behind the event. Bike the Bend is, at its heart, a well-organized group bike ride through South Bend (and parts of Mishawaka). The ride officially begins at 6:30am and continues through 11:30 am, but they encourage you to jump on at any time and any point in the route. The route itself winds by such South Bend favorites as St. Pat's Park, the Farmer's Market, the IUSB, Notre Dame, and Bethel College campuses, and many more parks, neighborhoods, and local spots (find a route map here). After you finish whatever portion of the ride you have chosen to complete, head over to the Post-Ride Festival at Potawatomi Park featuring local musicians and DJ's, food booths, and more. If you know you're going to get hungry before your ride, visit the pancake breakfast at St. Pat's, free with a registration wristband.
Hopefully some of you have registered before now, but you can also register tomorrow on the day of the ride for $30 at any of the designated SAG stations along the route (see the map link above). Cycling is an increasingly popular urban sport and provides a energy-efficient (and fun!) way to access the community. South Bend was just awarded the national honor of being a Bicycle-Friendly Community (one of only 158 in the country), and this event encapsulates all that this type of bike culture has to offer our community.
All of the necessary information about the event can be found here.