Among the many things that Erika loved, an important one was riding her bicycle. Once the weather warmed, she could be seen riding around Rhode Island, on streets and bike paths, posting photos of herself and her bicycle with the simple and succinct catchphrase “Out Riding.”

On Saturday, October 9th, 2021, we’ll hold a ride to honor Erika. The ride will start at 9:00 am from the Stop & Shop parking lot at 70 Mendon Rd in Cumberland, RI. We’ll ride to the end of the Bikeway at the River’s Edge parking area in Woonsocket, about 9.25 miles away, and back to the starting location in Cumberland.

The full route can be found here: https://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/4645842535

Let’s meet in the northern, back corner (to the right when looking at the store).

  • 8:45 am – Info and Announcements
  • 8:55 am – Group Photo with Erika’s Bike
  • 9:00 am – Ride for Woonsocket (and back)

We’ll mark turns, but there are two in each direction that are a concern:

  • Mile 0.8 – Sharp turn to the right
  • Mile 3.2 – Turn right, over the river, then a left to stay on the path (under the highway overpass)
  • Mile 15.3 – Turn right, over the river, then a left to stay on the path (at Kelly House Museum)
  • Mile 17.7 – Sharp turn to the left, over the river

There are two spots that cross an open road. There are stop signs at those spots, so be aware of traffic and cross the road safely.

It’s a wonderful ride along the Blackstone River, with multiple photogenic stops. We recommend stopping along the way for photos at either or both of the waterfall areas and to admire turtles. You might even see a deer!

This is not timed and is not a race. Safety is of the top priority. Other people will be riding their bike on the path and people will be walking, jogging or have their dog on a leash on the path. There are places with wet leaves/acorns and a wooden bridge that can make the path slippery. There are some places where tree roots have made the path very bumpy and can be dangerous if the rider is going too fast. Please be careful.

This ride is free and open to everyone. No registration or sign up required, please just show up. If you’d like to donate to Erika’s scholarship fund, we’d be grateful for any donations.

Rain date is Sunday, October 10th. Check this page or Patrick’s Twitter account for rain or ride info.

Organizing Committee:

  • John Marion – Executive Director of Common Cause Rhode Island and finisher of many distance cycling rides
  • Liza Burkin – Organizer with the Providence Streets Coalition, working on safer street cycling conditions
  • Matthew Netto – Associate State Director Advocacy/Outreach – AARP-RI and former Tour de Cure Ride Director
  • James Baumgartner – RI Public Radio Journalist and Cycling Advocate
  • Patrick Laverty – Chair of the Erika Niedowski Memorial Scholarship organization

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