Approximately 100 bicycle parking spaces will be available during Derby Week at Wayside Park near Churchill Downs, thanks to a partnership between Bicycling for Louisville and Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation.
Bike parking will be free of charge at the park, which is located in the 3100 block of S. Third Street, on Thursday (Thurby), Friday (Oaks Day) and Saturday (Derby Day). No motorcycles will be allowed in the parking area, and cyclists who leave their bikes at Wayside Park should bring their own locks, as the park will not be monitored during those three days.
The bike parking option gives those interested an alternative way to get to avoid high parking fees and traffic congestion when going to the track.
“We’re hoping a lot of people use this option — as a way to save money and time, but also as a fun way to get to and from Churchill,” said Chris Glasser, Executive Director of Bicycling for Louisville. “Taking a bike to the track ends up being a far more convenient option than sitting in traffic all day.”
Wayside Park has a historic tie-in with cycling in Louisville. In 1897, the Cycle Carnival – a huge bicycle parade that included about 10,000 cyclists viewed by 50,000 spectators – passed Wayside Park en route to Iroquois Park from Broadway.
The Louisville Bicycle Club has adopted Wayside Park under the Metro Parks and Recreation Adopt-A-Park program.
“The park has a very interesting history as it relates to cycling in Louisville, and we’re pleased to be able to call attention to that once again,” said Seve Ghose, Director of Metro Parks and Recreation. “It’s great to be able to use it in this fashion during Derby Week.”
Mayor Greg Fischer endorsed the idea too, noting that it’s a way to promote health and have fun, though he cautioned Derby go-ers to “hold on to your hat!”