NEPA Tail on the Trail brings cyclists out to celebrate Biketober

October 23, 2021 Times Leader
PEC in the News

WILKES-BARRE — Local cycling enthusiasts were encouraged to get their “tail on the trail” Saturday morning as part of Biketober, hosted at the Nesbitt Park boat launch.

The phrasing is intentional; Saturday’s event was hosted by NEPA Tail on the Trail, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, the Wilkes-Barre Bike Gang, the Anthracite Bicycle Coalition and the Wilkes-Barre Department of Health.

Council vice president Janet Sweeney and Northeast PA program coordinator Rachael Stark were on hand to explain how this first-time event came together.

“This is an initiative designed to get people out and to explore all the wonderful biking trails Northeastern Pennsylvania has to offer,” Sweeney said.

The group’s website,, offers information about various trails located around the area, and also provides incentive for riders to stay in shape and set fitness goals for themselves.

“Riders could log their miles on the site,” Stark said. “We’ve been on our 165-Mile Challenge since May.”

Tail on the Trail is funded in part through grants from the state Department of Health, and at the local level, David Yonki from the Wilkes-Barre Department of Health was on hand to lend a hand.

“This is all about getting people out of their comfort zones,” Yonki said. “We show them new trails, introduce them to new settings and get people up and riding.”

Saturday’s event featured a scavenger hunt for the children, free bike inspections and a bike that was to be raffled away to a lucky winner.

A handful of the event’s attendees, including both Sweeney and Stark, were dressed in costume to reflect the Halloween season, with the holiday just over a week away.

All modes of non-vehicular transportation were welcome on Saturday; Noelle Jardine and Nizel Thomas each had their own scooters.

Noelle, 6, had a traditional scooter designed with logos from the movie “Frozen.” Her brother Nizel, 10, opted for a more complex approach, riding a three-wheeled Fliker wiggle scooter.

“I had never seen anything like it when I bought it for his older brother,” said the children’s mother, Megan Jardine. “But he loves it.”

Jardine found out about Saturday’s Biketober event much as everyone else did: through Facebook.

“I scour Facebook looking for events like this for the kids, ” she said. “They love riding around our neighborhood, it’s good to get them out and active.”

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