Riding through the Redbuds

Apr. 25—For the first time in five years, cyclists participating in the annual Redbud Ride completed their treks without rain.

"It was the perfect day for cyclists," said Julie Rea, CEO of London Downtown, which sponsors the event.

The weather — cool but clear — brought out 573 cyclists on Saturday, including 60 walk-ups that morning. Those cyclists came from 21 different states with a woman from Ontario, Canada and another woman from the United Kingdom.

There were several new participants this year, with Rea stating that there was a 50/50 split on new and first time cyclists.

The day was marred by a medical emergency — with Rea reporting a local woman collapsed during her return trip and was taken to a Lexington hospital where she later passed away.

"London Downtown and The Redbud Ride send our deepest condolences to the family of the cyclist who passed away following a medical emergency during the ride," Rea stated. "She was beloved member of the Laurel County and cycling communities. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you navigate this most difficult time."

Rea also expressed gratitude to fellow cyclists for their quick action and to Ambulance Inc. of Laurel County as well as the Laurel County Fire Department for their rapid response.

Despite the sad incident of the 2024 ride, Rea said plans for next year's Redbud Ride are underway.

"Next year the Redbud Ride will be on April 26. We know that's a week later but Easter is on April 20 and we didn't want to move it up a week."

Although several children showed up at Farmers Market on Saturday morning, the Junior Redbud Ride was cancelled due to low registration. Those children were, however, given a treat bag and several rode their bicycles in the parking lot before leaving.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been revised with corrected quotations.]