Bike riders from throughout the region have the chance to participate in Prairie Pedal, the largest family bike ride in Lake County. More than 600 people typically participate in the annual event.
“Lake County has amazing, natural spaces waiting to be explored and enjoyed,” said Nathan Aaberg of the Liberty Prairie Conservancy, the organization coordinating Prairie Pedal. “We want to help parents reconnect their kids with nature. What is an easier way to do that than a bike ride?”
Riders can choose from four routes on May 15 including four miles, nine miles, 12 miles or 27 miles. The shorter routes take bikers through and into Libertyville Township's Oak Openings. The 27-mile route also takes bikers through Rollins Savanna Forest Preserve and an extra stretch of scenic Casey Road.
The 15th annual Prairie Pedal will show riders the beauty Lake County has to offer. Participants are expected from communities throughout Lake, McHenry and Cook Counties, among others.
The Liberty Prairie Conservancy was created in 1995 to advocate with land owners to preserve open land, restore natural areas and through education inspire public to take control of nature.
Aaberg, director of development and community relations for Liberty Prairie Conservancy, said the organization works with partners such as Libertyville Township, the Village of Grayslake and the Lake County Forest Preserves to keep Lake County a beautiful place to live.
“We want to keep it as rural a landscape as possible, and in most part, we’ve accomplished that,” he said. He said that the conservancy has been a partner to help conserve 6,000 acres.
"The Prairie Pedal is a fun way families can enjoy open space and learn more about nature within the county," Aaberg said.
Riders will start the Prairie Pedal between 8:30 and 11 a.m at the Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, Grayslake Campus, 1475 E. Route 120.
At rest stops, riders can enjoy nature education programs. The ride concludes with lunch, ice cream and professional massages at the historic in Prairie Crossing. There also will be a raffle drawing at noon with prizes such as an 18-speed mountain bike and White Sox tickets.
The conservancy has kept the price the same the past seven years to make it a family value. When registering before May 7, the cost is $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 6 to 17. After May 7 and the day of the event, registration will cost $25 for adults and $15 for ages 6 to 17. Children ages 5 and under are free.
For information, call the Liberty Prairie Conservancy at (847) 548-5989 or visit www.libertyprairie.org to register.