Every year since 2012, Ride for Rox has taken place to memorialize Roxanne Richard, who was struck down in her bike in a tragic accident that took place just outside Grand Couteau in October 2011.

The event is a yearly staple on TRAIL’s calendar of events and serves as a great pre-cursor to May, which is Bike Safety Month, since the purpose is to improve the car-cyclist relationship.

In addition to raising awareness, the event raises money for TRAIL and JDRF, which is the leading global organization funding Type 1 Diabetes research.

For the first time ever, this year’s event will feature a Family Ride, which will feature a 3.6-mile loop, consisting of a mix of on road, bike lane and protected path riding.

The bike lanes on St. Landry Street and the bike paths on University Commons will be utilized as part of the route, and the ride will be escorted by sheriffs for optimal biker safety.

TRAIL President Scott Schilling said, “We want to give families a controlled environment to enjoy riding in, and allow people to experience the bike lanes and paths Lafayette has recently built.”

The family ride is a free event, but TRAIL asks that you pre-register so they can have a headcount for how much food to provide at the end of the race.

The traditional longer ride routes range anywhere from 30 to 70 miles and require paid registration.

Depending on their chosen route, riders can pass through Arnaudville and make a stop at Bayou Teche Brewing or Crowley where they can stop at Beau Basin Café to grab a bite to eat.

One of the driving forces behind the event is to get cyclists on the road using bike paths so motorists become accustomed to treating them just like other traffic.

Schilling said, “We continue to ride for Rox’s memory and to build a better relationship between cyclists and vehicles. A bicycle is just like a vehicle and the law permits bikes and cars to be on the road at the same time. There has been some recent progress, like when the state passed a law that requires cars to give cyclers three feet when they pass, but it takes a lot to change a culture”

Registration for cyclists planning to take the longer routes begins at 6:30 a.m., and cyclists should plan to arrive before the ride begins at 8 a.m.

The Family Ride begins at 9:30 a.m. and riders should plan to arrive early to line up for the event in the Iberia Bank parking lot behind Jefferson Street Pub.

Riders on this route can do a single loop or continue the 3.6-mile loop as many times as they like, but Sheriffs will wrap up the event around 10 a.m. to get everyone back in time for the beginning of Festival International.

Schilling said, “We want to have people finishing their rides anywhere between 10 and 11 a.m., so they can get off their bikes, grab a bite with us and go enjoy Festival. If they pre-register, we’ll have plenty jambalaya for them to eat plus coke, Dasani water and Gatorade.”

For local or out of town riders in need of a bike for the race, TRAIL has a selection of 80 bikes for rent.

The event will take place this weekend on Sunday, May 30, during the final day of Festival International.

For more information about Ride for Rox or to register for the event, visit latrail.org or call 337-781-9416.