Thousands of cyclists, walkers, canoeists and kayakers will hit the streets and the Ohio River on Labor Day, Sept. 4, for the 26th Subway Fresh Fit Hike, Bike & Paddle at Waterfront Park.
“What better way to mark the end of the summer and the Labor Day holiday than in the company of your friends, family and neighbors, at our beautiful waterfront,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “I invite everyone to come out, meet some new friends, and have fun!”
Subway Restaurants is the title sponsor of Hike, Bike & Paddle, with presenting sponsors, Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated, Norton Healthcare and Neil Huffman Subaru and contributing sponsor, Academy Sports + Outdoors.
“SUBWAY Restaurants are proud to once again be the title sponsor of the SUBWAY Fresh Fit Hike, Bike & Paddle events. We will be distributing $2.50 gift cards to participants that can be used on their next visit to SUBWAY. Don’t miss this great family activity and a chance to explore the waterfront” said Doug Messmore, Louisville SUBWAY Board Chair.
“Coca-Cola Consolidated is proud to be a presenting sponsor of the Mayor’s Hike, Bike and Paddle activity on Labor Day. Coca-Cola strongly believes in providing consumers a variety of choices that fit their needs, which is why we offer many great-tasting beverages that are no or low calorie, in a variety of package sizes,” said Brian Outland, Vice-President of Retails Sales for the Coca-Cola Consolidated.
“Norton Healthcare is pleased to continue our support of the Mayor’s Hike, Bike & Paddle,” said Russell F. Cox, president and chief executive officer, Norton Healthcare. “This is a great event and a wonderful example of our shared commitment to improving the health and wellness of our community.”
“Neil Huffman Subaru, part of the Neil Huffman Automotive Group, is proud to be a seven-year sponsor of Mayor Fischer’s Annual Hike, Bike and Paddle. As a family-owned and operated business, we value the healthy initiatives the Mayor Fischer has taken to keep the community ‘on the move’ for years to come,” said Dow Huffman, Managing Partner, Neil Huffman Automotive Group.
Paddlers will begin their adventurous five-mile course at 10 a.m., taking their canoes and kayaks through the McAlpine Locks and Dam to the Jaycees Boat Ramp in New Albany. Participants will launch their canoes or kayaks at the ramp located at the Harbor Lawn of Waterfront Park. Paddlers can drop their boats off at the “Green” parking lot near River Road and Witherspoon Street from 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Police and safety boats will be nearby during the paddling activity, and all participants will have assistance if needed in launching their canoe or kayak. Paddle participants must wear a life jacket and carry a noise making device.
After the event, TARC will offer a shuttle service for paddlers to retrieve their vehicles at the launch site.
For cyclists, a 9.5-mile route will leave Waterfront Park and go west through the Portland Stroll District and head back to Waterfront Park. Turnoffs will provide cycling routes as short as two miles.
The hiking route, which is wheelchair-accessible, will take walkers west along the waterfront, along portions of the Riverwalk and wharf to 10th Street and back. Walkers can bring their dogs on the hike, but must keep them on a leash and pick up waste, as required by law.
Louisville YMCA staff will lead the hike. Both the cycling and walking routes will be marked, and there will be water stops at the halfway points to refill water bottles. The Louisville Bicycle Club and Scheller’s Fitness and Cycle are providing “bike captains” to help cyclists obey the rules of the road.
“Bike doctors” will be in Waterfront Park before the ride and along the route to assist cyclists with any equipment problems. Louisville Metro Police will provide traffic assistance at key intersections, and the Louisville Metro EMS bicycle team will patrol the route. All cyclists are asked to remain behind the lead police vehicles.
More than 50 vendors and information booths will open at 8:30 a.m. at Waterfront Park. Again, patrons will have the opportunity to try their hand at stand-up paddle boarding until 1 p.m.
Yoga, Tai Chi and Zumba demonstrations will be offered, along with group participation.
Beginning at 8:30 a.m. there will be 3,000 free T-shirts for those who arrive early and complete a brief survey. The Brain Injury Association will distribute 500 helmets to riders who don’t have one. Neil Huffman Subaru will be giving away a free bicycle and kayak at the event. Participants are encouraged to be “green” and bring their own water bottles which they will be able to fill at Waterfront Park and at various water stations along the routes, as part of Louisville Water’s Pure Tap To Go.
This is the 13th year for the Hike, Bike & Paddle events, which are held each Memorial Day and Labor Day. The events are part of the city’s Healthy Hometown Movement, created to encourage Louisville residents to be more active and make healthier lifestyle choices. To view interactive route maps and for more information, go to hikebikeandpaddle.org.
Additional support is provided by River City Paddlesports INC., Outfront Media, 106.9 Play, Scheller’s Fitness & Cycling, Louisville Water Company and the YMCA.