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A broken neck couldn't force Dan McIntosh to surrender his passion — he just modified his approach.
The cyclist took to the pavement Saturday as part of Central Kentucky Wheelmen’s New Year’s Day Ride, a 10-mile route that forms a loop around Elizabethtown and launched from Bullmoose Brothers Bicycle Shop on Helm Street.
The ride has been a tradition within CKW for roughly 30 years and opened to the public in recent years. Once departing Helm Street, the cyclists connected to North Miles Street and Pear Orchard Road as the route hooked around the area near Best Buy and continued on Veterans Way.
McIntosh stood out for his choice of vehicle: A three-wheeled recumbent bike he reclined in as he peddled alongside the other riders.
McIntosh has been riding with the Central Kentucky Wheelmen for about five years and he purchased the recumbent bike after his accident. The ride, he said, is much smoother with the new bike and takes stress off his back and neck.
“I don’t have to worry about the seat anymore,” he said with a laugh.
The ride, he added, is a tradition that has helped to build interest in cycling as the organization hopes to bring more bike paths to Elizabethtown in the future.
In addition, McIntosh said the ride promotes safety awareness among cyclists alongside the share the road signs CKW has purchased and installed on city roadways.
Don Goff, an Elizabethtown resident, said the ride offers a detailed look at Elizabethtown from a cyclist's perspective.
“You have some of downtown, some near Barnes and Noble, some hills, some flats,” He said. “Good little route.”
Goff, who has been cycling seriously for more than a decade, said he joins in each year because of the camaraderie he finds on the route.
“Just the pure fun of being with other riders,” he said.
In all, about 50 cyclists participated in Saturday’s ride, CKW President Carmen Coyle. The number matches the success of previous rides though the weather turned warmer than last year, when riders hit the route during a frosty 22-degree cold snap.
For the most part, Coyle said the ride was successful this year, though some were unprepared for the hills along Pear Orchard Road.
Austin Cook, a Summit resident who lived in Elizabethtown for many years, said he was forced to turn back because of the cool air.
“I froze out,” he said, pointing out his lack of layers as the reason the weather bore down on him.
Cook, at 79, was the oldest rider on the route and has been on a bike since he was a child. He delivered newspapers on two wheels when he was a teenager, he added.
“(I’m) trying to take care of myself a little bit,” Cook said of his motivation to join in. “Getting a little age on me.”
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or at firstname.lastname@example.org