by Jeffrey Sugalski
(Plain Press, May 2011) Northeast Ohioans will have the opportunity to win more than $2,000 worth of prizes, simply by exploring Cleveland’s Old Brooklyn neighborhood by bicycle. Bicyclists can win one of two brand new Trek 7000 hybrid bikes, a one-year membership to the downtown branch of the Greater Cleveland YMCA, a $100 Honey Hut Ice Cream gift basket, $50 gift cards to Steelyard Commons, gift certificates to local restaurants, and many other exciting prizes by participating in Old Brooklyn Pedal for Prizes, a free event that will be held at Loew Park, 3121 Oak Park Avenue on Saturday, May 21 at noon.
A small grassroots group of Old Brooklyn residents and merchants is coordinating the creative, original event not only to celebrate Cleveland Bicycle Week occurring May 14-22, 2011, but also to allow people from throughout the Cleveland area to experience their community and discover its many amenities and favorite locally owned businesses.
Upon registering at Loew Park the day of the event, bicyclists of all ages and skill levels will receive a map of twenty destinations and points of interest in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood. They will ride their bikes either on their own or with a guided group to as many of these locations as they wish, collecting a free raffle ticket at each.
Bicyclists will return later in the afternoon to enter their tickets into a Chinese-style raffle for a wide array of great prizes. All raffle items have been donated by local businesses from Old Brooklyn and throughout Northeast Ohio.
While bicyclists can win prizes, neighborhood merchants such as Jack Frost Donuts, Michael’s Bakery, and Gentile’s Imported Italian Foods have a unique opportunity to bring hundreds of new people from throughout the region into their shops in hopes that they return and become repeat patrons in the future. Civic groups, including the Benjamin Franklin Community Garden, South Hills Association, and Friends of Harmody Park, can share news about their recent accomplishments and information on upcoming events.
Old Brooklyn Pedal for Prizes has been supported by Neighborhood Connections, a program of the Cleveland Foundation that provides grants to groups implementing grassroots neighborhood projects. However, what is unique about the event is that it is almost exclusively organized utilizing donations and in-kind support.
For more information about Old Brooklyn Pedal for Prizes and additional details about the event, please visit pedalforprizes.com, like Pedal for Prizes on Facebook, and follow on Twitter @pedalforprizes.