ride the river 2016Fatherhood is a metaphorical journey of endless amazement and discovery, and for hundreds of area Dads it can be a key component of a literal odyssey as well during Sunday’s 32st Annual Ride the River. Dads and their families looking for a fun and active way to spend Father’s Day are invited to check out the event from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Beginning at the Quad City Times’ offices in downtown Davenport and traversing Rock Island, Moline, East Moline, Port Byron, Cordova, Hampton and Davenport, the 20-mile charity bicycle jaunt is expected to draw over 1,000 riders.
New this year are the Riverdale Trail featuring Pop Up Parks, a pancake breakfast, putt-putt golf, and a 50/50 drawing. Plus, families can cruise on the Mississippi River on the Celebration Belle Riverboat from Iowa to Illinois or ride across the historic Arsenal Bridge. There is also a Family Fair.

“Participation in Ride the River helps River Action fulfill its mission of making the riverfront a healthful and livable environment for all,” said Eileen Sipes of Aledo, Executive Assistant with River Action, which sponsors and organizes the event. “The $15 entry fees go towards renovation projects for regional bike paths.

“It’s a great event for families to share together, for a great cause,” Sipes said. “People come back to the Quad-Cities for this. They’ve grown up doing it with their parents and now they bring their children too. It’s become a multi-generational event. That’s a great feeling for us to be a part of that, bringing families together.”

At last year’s event, the families, both the newbies and longtime veterans of the trek, agreed.

“This is the first time we’ve ever done this, we thought it would be a fun thing to do together and it really was,” said John Detombe, 43, of Davenport, who rode with his wife, Kasey, 40, and pulled their daughter, Elizabeth, 2, in an enclosed and cushy little carriage on wheels.
“It was nice, great weather and a lot of people,” Kasey Detombe added. “It was fun to see all the scenery and the different places.”

“It’s a great tradition, we’ve been doing it together for nine years now,” said Brandon Simpson, 39, of LeClaire, who rode with his son, Caleb Simpson, 13, and wife, Mindy Hennings, 36. “It was different this year because we didn’t go over Centennial bridge, which is always cool, it was only Arsenal bridge, but it was still a good time.”

“It’s a great way to spend Father’s Day,” said Bill Hines, 47, of Davenport, who was joined by his sons Mitch, 25, and Jake, 24. “It was a good gift. Now, it’s time to go home and relax and hit the grill.”

For more information see www.riveraction.org.

Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written almost 30 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.