Ellensburg hosts Ride to Renslow

Community member gather in Unity Park in Downtown Ellensburg to bike to the Renslow Trestle.

Megan Rogers, Staff Reporter

The League of American Bicyclists proclaimed May as bike month and to help celebrate, for the first time ever, the Ellensburg City and the Chamber of Commerce hosted Ride To Renslow. 

Members of the Ellensburg community met at Unity Park in downtown Ellensburg at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 21, then took off together to head to the Palouse to Cascade trail biking the 13 miles to the Renslow Trestle.

The bike ride was led by Ellensburg Mayor, Nacy Lillquist. Lillquist shared why she was most excited to be a part of this event.

“The energy here and just to showcase the projects that we’ve been doing and get, some people fitted with free bikes and helmets and free bike bells,” Lillquist said. “Showcase the trail that we have in Ellensburg that is just a wonderful amenity for us.”

Lillquist said that with the links in the Palouse to Cascade trail being fixed people can now ride across the Renslow Trestle, which has been closed previously. Lillquist also said people can now go all the way to Vantage, WA or even the Idaho border because Beverly Bridge is also reestablished.

Brad Case, parks and recreation director, said they wanted to highlight a newly finished construction project. 

“The reason why we’re doing the ride is that the statewide Palouse to Cascade trail they just finished the Renslow Trestle project which is the bridge that goes over I-90,” Case said.“ Anytime you can get people together to recreate and explore new spaces and see what’s out there in the community is a good day.”

Along with the bike ride, the community gave away basic bike checks before the ride, bike helmets, and bike bells. Odd Fellows also joined in to give away free refurbished bikes. According to Dave Sturgell, a member of Odd Fellows, Odd Fellow is an old-fashioned fraternal organization like Masons, Elks or the Moose Lodge.  

Sturgell said in the days before social programs people joined these programs to help provided for their families after they died and in order to have a place where they could be buried. 

But now in the 21st century, the mission of Odd Fellows has changed. 

“For the past 10 years we’ve taken donated bicycles, repaired them and given them to anyone who needs some adult bikes, kid bikes, everything,” Sturgell said. 

Sturgell said they have seen good things from their organization. According to Sturgell, Odd Fellows has been able to give away 600 bikes. 

“We’ve seen people that have been able to get jobs because they have a bike that they can ride to work with adults, teenagers,” Sturgell said. “Also kids, to have a kid get their first bike that’s just great.”

Raven Harlin, secretary for Odd Fellows and a CWU alumna, said for her she is most excited to give away these bikes because she liked to bike as a kid.

“I used to love riding bicycles when I was a kid. I remember [when] I rode my bike for the first time I was five I pushed off the station wagon,” Harlin said. “My kids ride bikes. I think it’s good exercise. You know, it’s cheap … and they’re pretty easy to fix.”