• Fri June 22 2007
  • Posted Jun 22, 2007
Plans are being developed to meet demands with trails, and cycle-related business is on the upswing. By MICHOLYN FAJEN Register Correspondent Local business owners and Waukee officials are rolling forward with plans to meet the needs of residents eager to ride bicycles through the community. Marvin Light opened his bike shop, Waukee Cycling and Fitness, early June 2007 at 30 Carefree Lane. He believed the store's placement off the Raccoon River Trail on U.S. Highway 6 was going to be an instrumental location to serve his customers. Light's shop sells bikes and accessories but also services bikes or flat tires for trail riders. He foresees a surge in business, much due to local sports competitions and RAGBRAI's stop in the city last year. "Bicyclers are a tight-knit community. They enjoy getting outdoors and the exercise biking brings. But RAGBRAI has been incredible for the cycling industry, bringing people from all over the world to ride and spurring interest locally," he said. The bicycling culture isn't new to Gary Love of Waukee. He logs nearly 20 miles a day during his daily commute to work at Clive's Saturn of Des Moines. Love, a former triathlete, said that while he daily sees the same handfuls of commuter cyclists on the trail the community of recreational cyclists is growing. "Bikers' night at the local bars used to only appeal to motorcyclists but that has changed and bicyclers are now included in those events," he said. Love said Light's bike shop is burstling with cyclists every time he stops in. "Even at 7 p.m. there is a constant wave of people in that shop," he said. "The placement is perfect." The recent Hy-Vee World Cup Triathlon brought Light more competitor bicycle business. "I am a professional bike fitter and for competitors who needed a specific bike for their events, I would find them the perfect fit. There certainly was a new energy generated from that event. People were looking for a new challenge," Light said. Light said the Raccoon River Trail is a safe option for bicyclists and was a major draw for him to the area. Five years ago Light was nearly run over by a semi truck during his morning bike ride. The incident shook him and is the main reason he now sticks primarily to trails. "People tell me that the trail system is awesome and I think that having it go through town and connect with other trail systems is a big appeal to recreational bicyclists," Light said. Waukee parks and recreation director Matt Jermier said officials are doing everything they can to make it easy for residents to use the trail system. "As new subdivisions are completed we will be adding connector trails to the Raccoon River Trail. We've seen an increase in the number of bikers using it and as we get closer to RAGBRAI we'll see even more," Jermier said.

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