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Mayor's annual bike ride raises money for Des Moines trails

Funds from this year's ride will be used to add more bike repair stations along the city's trails.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Hundreds of cyclists joined the Des Moines Mayor's Annual Ride Saturday to help support the trails they love to use.

Funds raised from the ride go to improving the city's nearly 70 miles of paved trails. 

Taking off from Principal Park, riders passed Gray's Lake and Easter Lake over the course of the 20-mile ride. Among the participants were multiple members of the Dream Team, a central Iowa nonprofit that helps kids build confidence and learn to set goals through cycling.

"We teach life lessons through the bicycle. And that's what we liked about biking when stuff was going bad," said Jeff Van Genderen, a member of the Dream Team. "Going on your bike, you can think through it. And that's why I'm so thankful for the mayor for doing this. We enjoy it."

RELATED: Bike trail connecting Woodward to Perry will complete continuous 118-mile loop around central Iowa

The proceeds from this year's ride are going to funding bike repair stations for around Des Moines trails. Over the past ten years, the event has raised more than $76,000. 

"Events like the mayor's annual ride, and we have great partnerships with the friends of Des Moines parks, we have an excellent grant writing team," said Jennifer Fletcher, marketing supervisor for Des Moines Parks and Recreation. "And we put all this together and it really does help augment our budget."

RELATED: Board in process of rehabbing Great Western Trail

While the trails saw some especially big crowds today, they're well-used year-round.

"Some of the spots in our trail system see anywhere from 200-300 trips a year,"  Fletcher said. "So the trails are very popular because people use them for recreation, they use them to commute and so we're excited that we can have this event to help fund more trail segments."

Watch: E-Bikes coming to Des Moines