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A lot of people have turned to individual exercising during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Large organized rides and races have been canceled, but the pandemic hasn’t stopped people from getting out on bike trails all around Iowa.

“For organized rides they’re fewer. We didn’t do Marshmello and there’s no RAGBRAI,”said Charlie Smith, Iowa Valley Bicycle Club treasurer.“But, I see more people walking and biking on the trail than I’d ever seen before.”

Matt Gerstandt, owner of Black Tire Bike Company on Main Street in Marshalltown, has seen more people interested in entry level biking from kids bikes to trailers.

“Which has been wonderful because that means families are getting out,”Gerstandt said.

The store owner has seen more people on Marshalltown’s bike trails as well.

“I think it’s really nice that there are more people out,”Gerstandt said.

The Iowa Valley Bicycle Club, of Marshalltown, is starting its weekly rides again with some social distancing guidelines and options to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We do a ride on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 9 a.m. at the Y,”Smith said.“We’re going to social distance 6 feet when we’re not riding, probably more than that when we are riding.”

If the riders stop for a drink they’ll be asked to wear a mask indoors.

“We’ll see how that works,”Smith said.“If that works we’ll continue. If it doesn’t work we’ll say ride on your own.”

They don’t encounter many people during weekday rides – about four to six people.

“Usually they’re riders that want to do 30 plus miles,”Smith said.“You don’t have to be a member, but generally it’s for a little more avid riders.”

The Iowa Valley Bicycle Club hopes to reach out to new biking enthusiasts.

“If we see the number continue to go down and go down substantially, and we see the possibility in our future of a vaccine, we’ll feel better about opening up,”Smith said.

Gerstandt was sad to see RAGBRAI postponed, but has enjoyed seeing the increase in individual riders.

“We’re excited to see where the season leads,”he said.


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