About 40 bikers peddled off down S. Kansas Avenue early Sunday morning to start a 50-mile excursion that would mark the final event for the Cyclovia festival.
This was the second year Visit Topeka hosted the cycling festival, which spread over three days and included events for families, road cyclists and BMX bikers.
Rosa Cavazos, director of tourism development for Visit Topeka, said the 50-mile ride saw a good turnout.
“I think we definitely doubled the number of people from last year,” she said.
Cavazos said the entire festival is meant to attract both new and experienced riders, but that the advanced ride gives more seasoned cyclists a chance to ride a distance that may challenge them more. Often, she added, these are the people helping out with the events and shorter rides throughout the weekend festivities.
“It allows bike riders to take part in the event,” she said.
Angie Shelton, a Topeka resident and president of the Kaw Valley Bicycle Club, said the longer ride is also a chance to promote cycling in the city.
“[I’m here] to go for a bike ride and promote biking in Topeka because it’s really growing,” she said.
Shelton said opening the festival up to a variety of people by hosting many different types of events is exactly what she thinks will help enhance the biking community in the area.
“I would like to see it just grow and grow,” she said. “What we have now is really great for the community of Topeka but as we grow I’d love to see people from Lawrence and Kansas City come and see what we have.”
Cavazos said one new addition to the festival this year was a “pump track” for BMX bicycle riders, which drew a different crowd and added to the event as a whole. This is something she said she’ll keep in mind for next year’s Cyclovia.
“I think it really flowed well to have so many things going back to back,” she said. “I definitely want the numbers to grow and it’s really just seeing what the riders think and how we can make it grow.”