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Ride a bike to work June 9

Bud Kading heads to work on his cycle from Park Rapids to Nevis seven months a year. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

The days are getting longer and the mercury is climbing.

It's time to pop the kickstand and put the bikes - and muscles - to work.

Thursday, June 9 has been declared Bike to Work Day in Park Rapids and Prize Police will be on the prowl.

Registration begins Thursday, June 2 at Northern Cycle and Third Street Market.

There is no charge. Simply head in to a registration station and fill out the form. The first 112 registrants will be given a signature red bandana.

The day of the race, Prize Police will be patrolling, awarding prizes to those wearing the handkerchief.

Prizes to date include bike helmets, a bike computer and gift certificates.

No bike? Take a hike. Walkers are also encouraged.

No job? No prob.

It's open to families, retirees, those with goatees, bum knees, paparazzi... You get the picture; all are welcome.

Gather a team for some inner-office fun.

Itascatur, the Center for Weight Management and the Park Rapids Enterprise are sponsoring the event.

Helmets are recommended.

City planner Dan Walker is a regular rider, although the spring weather has detoured his pedal pushing. He has a 20-minute ride to town.

He cites soaring gas prices, health benefits and the environmental friendliness of the endeavor, but admits it's "cheeseburger- powered.

"I can eat a couple and not feel guilty."

"It's good for sanity," Bud Kading, Nevis School's technology coordinator, has observed.

He completes the 12-mile ride from Park Rapids to Nevis on the Heartland Trail from the early April through the end of October.

Morning rain precludes cycling but he heads home via the two-wheeler in any weather. "If I get wet, I get wet."

For more information on Bike/Walk to Work Day, contact the Center for Weight Management at 237-5757, Third Street Market at 732-9063 or the Enterprise at 732-3364.

In the event of inclement weather, drawings will be held and winners notified.