Group gravel encouraging community of cyclists in Cape Girardeau

Despite these socially distant times, cyclists in Cape Girardeau are finding a way to come together for a unique ride.

“To me, the neat thing about cycling is that you get to go see a lot more stuff,” John Dodd said, who works for Cyclewrx in Cape Girardeau. “And it’s a great little vacation in the middle of the week or at the end of the day.”

Dodd said that is the inspiration for a growing drop-in, social ride that happens every Tuesday in Cape Girardeau.

Organizers call it group gravel.

Cyclists start in downtown Cape Girardeau– travel across the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge– and around the Southern Illinois Levee Road System.

“I’d say most of us will do 10 to 15 miles, you can do less than that, people bring kids along,” Dodd said. “You know, so it’s just a very inclusive thing.”

On evenings where the weather is warm, Dodd said as many as 50 cyclists will join in on the free ride.

Dodd explains at a time when life is socially distant, this group is filling a void of physical interaction.

“The biggest feature of it is just getting together and enjoying the company of others,” Dodd said.

Two-wheels and an excursion unite all walks of life to build something even bigger.

“The community is undoubtedly the best part about riding bikes in Cape,” cyclist Aarron Arnzen said. “So we’ve got an awesome community of people that race, people that would never race, people that are new, people that are old, and young, that levee provides an awesome opportunity for them to have some fun and share the experience with other people.”

Cyclists looking to take part in the Group Gravel can meet at the Boardman Pavilion across from Art Van.

Kickstands go up at 6:30 p.m.

CLICK HERE for more information about future rides.

To get from point a to point b, bicycles seem to be leading the way.

Doddblames the battle with the Coronavirus.

He said it seems people are looking to bikes as a way to get outside and get active during the ongoing pandemic.

“The bicycle industry as a whole has just hit a huge boom. One of the biggest booms definitely since we’ve been the business,” Dodd said.

He hopes to see the trend continue.