Bright sunshine and mild temperatures made Sunday just about ideal for a bike ride.
So, nearly 20 riders took off from the North Lexington Family YMCA early in the afternoon, pedaling north along Lexington's Legacy Trail to raise support for the newly formed Isaac Murphy Bicycle Club.
The club, launched recently by Lexington poet and bike enthusiast Frank X Walker, is intended to get more inner-city kids on bikes, and to get more riders of all ages on the Legacy Trail. The trail, for bikers and walkers, runs 8.5 miles from the YMCA to the Kentucky Horse Park.
"There's something about being outside on a bike on a day like this that feels perfect," Walker said before the ride began. "We want people to use this trail, and we want all of Lexington to know it's ours.
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"You know, if you catch people early enough, they'll be hooked on bikes for the rest of their lives."
For Walker, an associate professor of English at the University of Kentucky, the ride was mainly intended to recruit adults to help sponsor the new Isaac Murphy bike club, named for the famed 19th century black jockey and three-time Kentucky Derby winner who lived in Lexington's East End.
Backers are needed to help provide bikes, helmets and related equipment for kids in the inner city who otherwise might not be able afford them, Walker said.
Biking is safe and relaxing, aids physical fitness, and offers a different way of viewing the world, he said.
"You really can't enjoy the world if you're going by at 75 miles an hour," Walker said. "But at 10 or 15, you see flower petals, you can have conversations with other people, at the bus stop or walking or on other bikes. Those things don't happen at 65 miles an hour."