Cyclists enjoy scenery and local food

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Dozens of bicycle riders take off from the Lake County Fairgrounds in Ronan Saturday for the first Mission Mountain Area Pedal to Plate ride. (Ashley Fox/Lake County Leader)

Dozens of bicycle enthusiasts didn’t let the threat of rain and cooler weather get in the way of making a 40-some-mile trek around the greater Ronan area over the weekend.

Mission Mountain Area Pedal to Plate took place, celebrating both cyclists and local food.

Rosie Goldich, food and agriculture program coordinator with Lake County Career Development Corporation (LCCDC), said that the event, which is the first to be held in the area, brings two different communities together.

In March, LCCDC was approached by Janet Sucha.

Local farms, agriculture and cyclists could spend the day celebrating bicycling and local foods, Goldich said of the event.

Cyclists began their ride at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Ronan, escorted by law enforcement.

They cycled 41.3 miles, with volunteers following the course nearby in vehicles in the event a bike broke or an athlete grew too tired.

Along the way were four “pit stops,” including the Round Butte Clubhouse, Peaceful Haven Honey Farm, Glenwood Farms and Fresh Roots Farms, all where volunteers were on hand with light refreshments.

When the tour was completed, cyclists went back to the fairgrounds where local foods were waiting for them.

Goldich said in the months leading up to the big day, organizers worked with the Bitterroot Farm to Fork Ride.

“We got bike insurance, event insurance, a caterer, all the pieces” to make the day happen, she said.

Funds raised by Saturday’s ride will be utilized in several ways, including a safety net for the same event next year that has been established.

“We’ve gotten a really great first (time) response from everybody,” Goldich said, whether from local cyclists and farmers showing interest in the riding event, to the Montana Department of Transportation who made sure to clean off bike trails and roadways.

Providing entertainment after the big ride was the band Cat Moon Bay Band.

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