If the Columbus area could rename 2016 with something other than the year of the Indiana Bicentennial, it might be the Year of the Bike. After the successful launch of Columbus’ new BikeShare program last month, and celebrations for Bike to Work Day in May, spring is about to give way to a summer of opportunities to grab a bike and pedal for hundreds of miles, with proceeds going to help people in the community. First up will be the Girlfriend Ride, which is June 18, which has a new community partner to champion, and offers the chance for women to spend the day cycling with hundreds of other women — and no men. “The Girlfriend Ride was one of those random thoughts that seemed like a good idea at the time,” said Carol Ashbrook, who organizes the ride with the help of her husband Paul. “It’s about spending time with best friends, riding for a good cause and enjoying tasty treats.”

For more on this story, see Saturday’s Republic.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.