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Storms shorten LOOP ride without dampening spirits

Rain-soaked riders complete Phase 1

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (July 20, 2018) – Most of Friday, the weather couldn’t make up its mind about what it wanted to do. At 5:00pm, during a steady rain, the Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce was using social media to assure Lansing that the LOOP bike ride would proceed as planned. More than 150 people had pre-registered for the annual event. In addition, the ride involves the Lansing Police Department, airport personnel, and dozens of volunteers, so rescheduling it is not possible.

More than 150 people had pre-registered for the annual LOOP bike ride, but only the intrepid showed up at Park Plaza as the start time neared. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
At right, Chamber President Sue Thompson and Chamber admin assistant Sue Seymour accepted registrations right up until the launch of the ride. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

The fickleness of the day’s weather kept some registrants from showing up, yet there were also some “walk-ins” who decided at 6:30pm to take a risk and sign up. At 6:45pm, patches of blue sky looked encouraging.

At 6:45pm, patches of sunshine teased the riders into believing the rains had moved on. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

But at 7:00pm—go time—the rains began again.

Undaunted, the pack of riders set out from Park Plaza, heading toward the forest preserve bike path. The steady rain grew steadier, and eventually became a downpour—a downpour that did not let up for the full hour.

As the LPD lead vehicle and the first few bikers entered the bike path, a steady rain was falling. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
The downpour became a deluge. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
The bikers circled back to Park Plaza to end Phase 1. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
At Park Plaza the riders were greeted by Chamber personnel and other volunteers who were huddled under a tent with bottled water and bagged lunches. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Finally, Chamber Board President Susan Thompson announced that Phase 2 of the LOOP was being cancelled. The heavy rains had caused minor flooding in areas along the LOOP route, presenting potential hazards. Pedals and puddles are not a good combination in a group biking event.

In spite of the rains, LOOP bikers all seemed to enjoy the adventure. Many hung around at the conclusion of Phase 1 just joking with each other and enjoying the bag lunches that had been prepared. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)


Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.