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Petzel: Oak Lawn’s 3rd annual Bike Tour smooth pedaling

Participants get ready for Oak Lawn bike tour June 22. | Supplied photo

Participants get ready for the Oak Lawn bike tour on June 22. | Supplied photo

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Updated: August 8, 2013 6:14AM



Greetings, fellow Oak Lawnians! The Oak Lawn Green Team hosted its 2013 Bike Tour on June 22, a 90-minute round-trip tour started at 10:30 a.m. from the Oak Lawn Patriot Metra station and covered about nine miles.

Mayor Sandra Bury; village Clerk Jane Quinlan; Deanna Skeels, president of the Bike Psychos Cycling Club; and the club’s ride coordinator, Mike Whicher, were on hand to greet participants at the start of the ride. State Rep. Kelly Burke (D-36th) and village Trustee Alex Olejniczak (2nd) with his sons also participated in the tour.

This was the second year for the tour, which was a collaboration between the Green Team and the Bike Psychos. Josh Jones, the village’s International City/County Management Association management fellow, said there were 173 riders this year.

“The ride was easy for everyone to keep up. We even had an 87-year-old grandma,” Jones said. “We heard lots of positive feedback. Everything went smooth and we had great sponsors this year.”

Olejniczak also thought this year’s tour was a big success.

“We had a lot of diversity, both young and old. I was humbled by the amount of volunteers we had, and Deanna and Mike from the Bike Psychos did a phenomenal job,” he said.

Aside from the traditional bicycles, there were some unusual ones such as tandem bikes, a three-wheeled bike, a wheelchair outfitted to function as a bike and a baby cart in which a sleeping baby along with a little dog were safety contained.

Tour participants meandered through neighborhoods west of Cicero Avenue, passing Worthbrook Park at 89th Street and Ridgeland Avenue and the Lewandowski Park and Arboretum, 89th Street and 49th Court.

Members of the Oak Lawn fire and police departments rode along in the event an emergency situation occurred as well as to escort the riders safely across busy intersections.

After the ride, participants enjoyed food and post-ride fellowship. The ride was free, but in lieu of a registration fee, participants were encouraged to bring non-perishable food to be donated to a local food pantry or to make a monetary donation to The Children’s Museum. Jones said five or six boxes of food were collected.

The goody bags, courtesy of the tour sponsors, were also a big hit. Upon checking in, participants received a tote bag containing a Clif bar, water bottle, neon green T-shirt, free pass to The Children’s Museum and useful bicycle safety handouts and information. Munchkins and coffee, courtesy of the Dunkin’ Donuts at the Patriot Station, were also available.

Jones said organizers are already planning for next year’s tour. The online registration used this year was effective, but Jones said the process will be streamlined for next year.

“There’s a lot of planning involved, maybe 20 to 25 hours,” Olejniczak said. “The Bike Psychos do a vast majority of the work and planning the route, and we have to coordinate with the Oak Lawn police and fire departments.”

A big thanks to the Green Team, the “village people” and especially the event sponsors — Fairplay, CDM Smith, Complete Vision Care, Bike Psychos, Calumet-Sag Trail, The Children’s Museum and a couple of “surprise” sponsors, Dunkin’ Donuts and Archer Bank — for organizing such a great event!

Here are this week’s featured celebrity announcements: Happy 2nd birthday to Caitlyn Plante from her parents, Joe and Mary Rose, and family. Anthony Mungia’s mom, Sharon, and family wish him a happy 16th birthday. Happy 22nd to Alexis Smith from her parents Sue and Bob and family. Linette and Roger Kane send happy 23rd birthday wishes to their daughter, Alexis.

Nicole Waitkus’ family wishes her a happy birthday. Birthday wishes go out to Carla Martin from Erik, Rocky, Neo and family. Carol Hellmann’s husband and family wish her a happy birthday. Happy birthday to Agnes Mark from Gene and their family. Pat Carbone’s children and grandchildren send her their love on her birthday.

Loving birthday wishes go out to my hubby, Tom Petzel, from me, Sarah, Sunny and family. Happy 59th birthday to Rob Turek from Brandy, Nemo, his family and friends. Agnes and Gene Mark send birthday wishes to their son-in-law, Aldo Ferrucci. Happy birthday to Roy Bubel from his mother, Bernice. Birthday greetings go out to Sal Crivelloni.

Wedding anniversary wishes go out to the following couples: Daniel and Christine Braun on their sixth, Don and Sue Cleland for their seventh, Lester and Kathleen Sawicki for their 48th, David and Sandy Wills on their 49th and Daniel and Betty Seidler who are celebrating their 63rd anniversary.



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