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'So much more than a race:' Riverwest 24 brings community together

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RIVERWEST (CBS 58) -- The 12th annual Riverwest 24 bike ride kicked off in Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood Friday night.

The 24-hour bicycling event isn't a race as much as a community ride.

Cyclists pedal through a course of block parties, bike paths, and bridges. 

The experience brings the entire community together -- some people even stay through the middle of the night to cheer on their family and friends.

This year's Riverwest 24 is expected to attract about 1,000 cyclists, more than five times more than attended the event's first year in 2007.

Organizers provide a suggested route, but riders can also design their own path.

They must hit all four checkpoints along their route in order to receive a point, and bonus points are available through checkpoints that promote community activism.

The winner is determined by the number of points gathered. That person will earn an ice sculpture and a case of their favorite local Milwaukee beer.

"The Riverwest 24 is an entirely unique experience to our city," Alderwoman Coggs said. "There will be block parties, family activities, fun volunteer work and lawn chairs lined down the streets to cheer on the cyclists. It is so much more than a race."

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