Kudos to the Greater Marinette-Menominee YMCA for picking up the 2020 Leowstrong Bike Ride which will be held on June 28. The YMCA is taking over the helm from Aurora Medical Center-Bay Area.

Officials from Aurora Medical Center-Bay Area approached the leadership at YMCA to assume the responsibility of keeping the popular Bike Ride alive. The YMCA didn’t blink and accepted the role. Many of the same participants in the Bike Ride come from the ranks of YMCA members.

The hospital, however, is not running away from its interest in the event. The hospital will provide the YMCA with the resources and expertise that it accumulated over the long tenure of the Bike Ride.

The ride will use the same routes that have been in place for years. There will be a ride for kids stretching over eight miles, and routes of 25 miles and 50 miles for older participants. The routes are filled with scenic settings and are laid out to make the rides a challenge and fun at the same time.

The Bike Ride has been in existence since the 1980s and riders come from near and afar to take part in the activity. The Bike Ride was named in honor of the late Dr. Tom Leow, a well-noted local orthopedic specialist who died of cancer a few years ago. Nikki Loew, Tom’s widow, is president of the YMCA’s board of directors and has been active in the ride since it was renamed as a tribute to him.

The Bike Ride has been a meaningful part of the area’s outdoor recreation program for nearly four decades. It involves individual riders and the many who ride as a family. We are pleased to see the Greater Marinette-Menominee YMCA play a major role in keeping the tradition alive. We’re looking forward to seeing the hundreds of riders take off from the starting point on June 28.

We would be remiss if we didn’t salute Aurora Medical Center-Bay Area Hospital for its long and distinguished service to the well established Bike Ride. One has to be involved in such a venture to appreciate the vast amount of planning and work that goes into making the event fun, relaxing and challenging. Orchids, too, to the slew of volunteers who pitched in over the years to make the event a true joy ride.