GRIC Cyclists Gather for Bike Tours

Kyle Knox
Gila River Indian News


Elisha Bishop, District 3, has continued to host weekend bike rides in the Community nearly every Saturday morning.  The effort has cultivated a group of Community riders that continue to meet and ride through Sacaton for quality exercise amongst other Community members.  And because of the pandemic, these bike rides provide a safe experience, with open-air and space for everyone to social distance. 


“To me riding helps us reconnect to our land in a different way by exploring the trails and roadways throughout the Community, it’s like we have our own park in our backyard,” said Bishop. He hopes that more riders will utilize the areas Community members have access to and explore all GRIC lands. 


“In the Community there’s plenty of running events but we don’t always have events for cycling,” said Bishop.  Through his weekend bike rides and tours, he hopes to build an interest in cycling as another healthy outdoor activity. 


The weekend rides are crafted for casual riders and catered to all ages.  Bishop has seen the group grow with riders ranging from eight to 80 years of age that attend often.


Recently, he held the “Gila River Spring Bike Tour” during the Memorial Day weekend, which offered a 4-mile and 8-mile route.  15 riders participated in total, which is an increase from past rides and brought out new first-time riders.  In the future, he plans to seek funding sources to support the rides and hopes to participate in bike rides throughout the state.


Earlier this year, Bishop organized a Gila River Bike Tour from Feb. 19 to 21.  The three-day bike tour challenged riders to bike across the entire Community.  The bike tour began with a 14-mile ride from District 1 to District 4, which started with 20 riders. 


On day two, they traveled from District 4, Upper Santan, to Wild Horse Pass for 24 miles, but only six riders returned.  Then on the final day, they traveled from Wild Horse Pass to District 7 for 21 miles, where only two Community members completed the entire 59-mile route, aside from Bishop.


Bishop learned plenty from the experience and will use it to plan another bike tour in 2023.  Another future goal is to host bike events that align with GRIC events, such as a Water Rights Day Ride in December.


Weekend rides will continue this year, and Bishop encourages anyone interested to join.  Call or text Bishop at (520) 858-2774 or follow him on Instagram by searching “Elisha_bishop_” for more news and updates on bike rides in the Community.