Riders begin the annual “Bike the Cbus” in downtown Columbus. | Credit: Ben Ko.

Thirty miles.

That’s the distance hundreds of Columbus residents will be traveling on bikes this Saturday at the 11th annual “Bike the Cbus” event hosted by Yay Bikes!.

Beginning and ending at Grange Insurance Audubon Center, “Bike the Cbus” is a city-wide bike ride where residents can ride in the open streets on a self-guided tour and explore several of the neighborhoods around Columbus.

Yay Bikes!, one of the largest bicycle advocacy groups in Ohio with over 1200 members, hosts the event annually in efforts to spread knowledge of alternative modes of transportation and the benefits it can bring to the Columbus community.

Having lived in Columbus her entire life, Yay Bikes! CEO Catherine Girves first participated in “Bike the Cbus” in 2011 and fell in love with the experience.

“I was completely struck with seeing parts of the city I may have been in before, but there were things I had never noticed,” Girves said “They were hidden gems that were right in front of me and I was missing them. I fell in love with this community all over again.”

Girves said she wanted to play a larger role and decided to take the reins from founder Ray George a few years ago.

George founded the event after attending Pedal Pittsburgh in 2007, came to the conclusion that the best way to view a city was at the speed of a bicycle, and was determined to make this experience come to life in the Columbus community.

For those who do not wish to bike the entire 30-mile course, George said there are options for people biking at their own leisure.

“We always build in shortcuts for people who don’t think they can do the entire thing,” George said. “On the paper map that’s given to participants are options to shorten the ride where people can cut it down to 20, 16 or even 8 miles.”

Shyra Allen became a trainer and ambassador for Yay Bikes! after attending “Bike the Cbus” a few years ago. Allen said she was in awe of the inclusive atmosphere of the event.  

“I love the friendliness of it,” Allen said. “Just riding in the open roads and seeing new faces.”

Participants will have the opportunity to hangout after the ride with a post-event lunch where there will also be music, a raffle and activities.

Tickets are $50 for the full 30-mile ride and $45 for members, $45 for the neighborhood leisure ride and $40 for members, and $10 for participants under the age of 18 and can be purchased on Eventbrite or in-person registration at the event.