Sparta Chamber to host Rails to Trails celebration, bike expo

Polish up the kids bikes and get ready for the Sparta Chamber’s annual celebration of the return of bikes to the Elroy-Sparta State Trail on Saturday, May 1. Be sure to stop and have your picture taken with Ben Bikin. Contributed photo

There will be a celebration of the return of bikes to the Elroy-Sparta State Trail on Saturday, May 1, at the Sparta Area Chamber of Commerce building, 111 Milwaukee Street, featuring a variety of activities throughout the day.

Although people are welcome to use the state trails throughout the year, the Chamber celebration follows the annual opening of the three tunnels of the Elroy-Sparta Trail.

The day’s activities begin at 8 a.m. with a pancake breakfast being served up by the Sparta Ambassadors as a fundraiser. Have a quick tune up by Speed’s Bicycle Shop. Then take advantage of a free shuttle service from Sparta to Norwalk at 9 a.m. To be sure you have a seat on the shuttle, call the chamber office for a reservation.

Following the bike ride back to Sparta, the ceremonial bike trail ribbon cutting takes place at 1 p.m.

Throughout the day, the public is invited to visit the vendor booths, which will include 1UP, a bicycle rack company, Borah Teamwear, Specialized Epic Bikes, Outdoor Recreation Alliance, ADRC, and the Farmer’s Market. The Monroe County Nutrition Coalition with the Monroe County Dairy Promotions and Dairy Breakfast will be making bike blender smoothies.

Additional vendors are welcome but must contact the Chamber office to reserve a spot.

Be sure to walk through the collection of bikes that will be on display throughout the day. Don’t forget to pick your favorite. Catch the BMX Show sponsored by Spartek of Sparta, and ORA. Snag a photo with Ben Bikin’. Stop inside the office to purchase your Sparta tee and sticker and to drop your name in for either the door prizes or the gun raffle which will be drawn at the close of the day at 2 p.m. Finish off your trip to Sparta by heading into town to grab a bite to eat or a beverage.

Daily and seasonal trail passes are available for purchase at the Sparta Area Chamber of Commerce during regular business hours and will be open on May 1. Cyclists 16 and older are required to have a state trail pass. A daily pass costs $5 and a season’s pass costs $25.

The Elroy-Sparta State Trail is the first rails to trails conversion in the United States. An estimated 60,000 people utilize the trail annually. Sparta is also the junction of the Elroy-Sparta Trail and the La Crosse River State Trail.

Evans Print & Media Group

1302 River Rd.
P.O. Box 252

Sparta, WI 54656-0252

Office Number: (608) 269-3186
Fax Number: (608) 269-6876