BROWNSBURG — Count U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita among those impressed by the trail system in Hendricks County, as he was in attendance at this past weekend’s 21st installment of the B&O Bicycle Tour.
Rain chilled temperatures early and dampened the trail, but not the spirits, as many still turned out for an event that continues to be one of the flagship annual showcases of the B&O Trail. By around 9:30 a.m., the rain had somewhat subsided.
The annual tour once again offered ride lengths of 10, 25, 45, and 62 miles with several rest stops for the riders. Diana Virgil, president of the B&O Trails Association (BOTA), said the event is as strong as ever.
“I’m a cyclist,” she said, “and I just love it. You get to see more, but you still get to talk. I’m not a fast rider, just a casual one and I love to go out and see the trees and the birds.”
Carole Terry, president of the Central Indiana Bikers Association (CIBA), introduced Rokita and noted that they had become friends earlier in the year.
“The congressman and I met earlier this year in March, and I spoke with (him) and he graciously came out to be with us,” she said. “Next year, he’s going to ride with us.”
Indeed, Rokita has taken up cycling as a hobby since that time, and echoed to the group that he has a more profound understanding of how valuable the activity can be. He also thanked those in attendance for their time and efforts.
“I’m here to encourage you and thank you for your volunteerism,” he told a packed crowd under the pavilion prior to the race. “I will also say that because of your leadership, I’ve started riding a bike out in Washington, D.C.”