The Greater Marinette Menominee YMCA will put together this year’s Leowstrong Bike Ride which will be held June 28. The ride will use the same routes it has over the past few years — a kid’s ride of eight miles and a 25- and 50-mile route. Rest stops and vendors are being contacted and riders will be able to register beginning March 23 at www.mmymca.org.

The Greater Marinette/Menominee YMCA will take the reins of the ride in 2020 from Aurora Medical Center-Bay Area.

“When hospital leadership came to us and asked if we were interested in taking on the ride as our own, our board did not take long to make the decision,” said Jenni Campbell. “Many of us participate in the ride each year and are familiar with its popularity and the impact it has on our community.”

The Leowstrong Bike Ride started in the 1980s when riders from the two hospitals and the local bike club started the Menominee River Century Bike Ride. With its emphasis on rider support and safety, routes that took advantage of the scenery and water, and rest stops that provided much more than water and bananas. Last year’s ride had over 500 riders participate.

“The good news is that the hospital will remain an important supporter of the ride, and will be providing us the resources and expertise that they have built up over nearly four decades of running the ride. We would not be doing this without that commitment,” said Campbell. “Nikki Leow is our current board president and has been much more involved with the ride since it was renamed after her husband Tom, who passed away from cancer a few years ago. Leowstrong is already a familiar program name at the Y and Nikki was a strong proponent for the Y taking this on.”

This year’s ride will also be part of a major celebration for the YMCA as they recognize their 50th year of providing service to the community.