Petzel: Oak Lawn Green Team hosts inaugural bicycle tour
Cheryl Petzel Citizen Journalistfirstname.lastname@example.org July 5, 2012 2:32PM
he Oak Lawn bicycle tour kicked off recently at the Oak Lawn train station. | Supplied Photo
Updated: August 9, 2012 6:13AM
Greetings fellow Oak Lawnians! The Oak Lawn Green Team recently hosted its inaugural bicycle tour and, by all accounts, it was a smashing success!
Alex Olejniczak, the trustee from District 2, attended with two of his four sons, Vincent and Matthew, and dubbed it a “very nice event.”
Olejniczak, who is also a member of Oak Lawn’s Green Team, said 100 participants pre-registered, and another 60 registered the day of the event. State Rep. Kelly Burke (D- Evergreen Park), and her husband, Terry, also showed their community support by participating in the inaugural ride.
Olejniczak, District 3 trustee Bob Streit, village clerk Jane Quinlan and Mike Whicher from the Bike Psychos gave a brief speech to the crowd before the ride. The event kicked off at 10:30 a.m. from the Oak Lawn Patriot Train Station at the 9/11 Memorial.
The tour route, which was approximately eight to 10 miles, included Wolfe Wildlife Refuge, Chicago Ridge Prairie Nature Preserve, Stony Creek Golf Courses, Oak Lawn Lake and stops at seven historic home sites.
Bob Streit, who also went on the ride, provided riders with a brief history of each stop along the route.
The bike ride lasted approximately two hours and ended back at the 9/11 Memorial where riders enjoyed food, festivities, raffles, music and post-ride camaraderie.
The bicycle tour has been in the making for a couple of years.
“The Green Team first brought it up awhile ago, but we didn’t have the structure in place at the time,” Alex said. “The big thing this year was getting the Bike Psychos (Cycling Club) involved. They said they would do the tour route if the Green Team could get sponsors for the ride.”
Olejniczak also credits Heather Green, village forester and Green Team member, along with her team, for their role as well as getting sponsors. Oak Lawn’s public works and special events departments and numerous volunteers were also instrumental in planning, organizing and making the event a success.
Oak Lawn’s finest, the police and fire departments, were hands-on during the ride. Police officers in a squad car and on motorcycle were in front of and behind the bike riders to ensure their safety throughout the ride, especially when the bike riders had to navigate through traffic.
Two fire department paramedics rode with the group in the event of a medical emergency.
Olejniczak said he especially enjoyed seeing the diversity of ages and watching family interaction during the ride.
Whicher, a Bike Psychos member who was instrumental in the ride’s organization, was “beaming like a new father during the ride,” Olejniczak said.
Laurel Habschmidt, president of Bike Psychos, also participated in the tour. She said planning for the bicycle tour took a few months and, as the ride started getting closer, the group met weekly to get the routes down, and the T-shirts, water bottles and brochures ready.
“I thought it was awesome,” Habschmidt said. “I was so excited to see so many riders and different ages. It was really exciting.”
The bicycle tour was such a success that Olejniczak said, “I think you can count on it being an annual event.”
The Bike Psychos Cycling Club is a cycling club with rides and programs for riders at all levels. Members meet at 7 p.m. the first Monday of the month from March through October at Stony Creek Golf Course, 5850 W. 103rd St., Oak Lawn. For more information, visit www.Bikepsychos.org or www.Facebook.com/bikepsychos.
Don’t forget, the Dancing Noodles are scheduled to perform tonight at 7 p.m. (weather permitting) on the Village Green, located east of the Municipal Center and north of the Oak Lawn Public Library. Bring your chairs and blankets and enjoy a fun night out with your family and neighbors.
Here are this week’s featured celebrity announcements: Happy birthday to Anthony Mungia, who’s turning 15, from his grandparents, mom, Sharon, Sara and Frank. Happy 21st birthday to Alexis Smith, from her parents, Sue and Bob, Adam, and Sandy.
Linette and Roger Kane wish their daughter, Alexis, a happy 22nd birthday. Happy birthday to Nicole Waitkus from her family. Birthday wishes go out to Carla Martin from her husband, Erik, Rocky, Neo and family.
Happy birthday to Carol Hellmann, from her husband, Jim, and their family. Gene Mark sends birthday wishes to his wife, Agnes. Pat Carbone’s children and grandchildren wish her a happy birthday. Happy birthday to my hubby, Tom Petzel, with love, from me, Sarah, Sunny and family.
Happy 57th birthday to Rob Turek from Brandy, Nemo, his friends and neighbors. Agnes and Gene Mark wish their son-in-law, Aldo Ferrucci, a happy birthday. Roy Bubel’s mother, Bernice, sends him her love on his birthday. Happy birthday to Sal Crivelloni.
Wedding anniversary wishes go out to the following couples: Daniel and Christine Braun’s fifth anniversary; Don and Sue Cleland’s sixth anniversary; Lester and Kathleen Sawicki’s 47th anniversary; David and Sandy Wills on their 48th anniversary; and Daniel and Betty Seidler as they celebrate their 62nd anniversary.
Keep your fellow Oak Lawnians informed about birthdays, special events or special “stuff” going on with your family or within the community.
Call me at (708) 899-9544 or email me at the address above.
Until next time...