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Large group of cyclists will ride through region this weekend

The very first Lu Lacka Wyco Hundo bike ride started in 2013 with 18 people.

This Sunday — 10 years later — 600 cyclists will ride over 100 miles through Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties.

The ride is the story of Pat Engleman’s life.

"It's kind of ... like my travels growing up and my travels kind of expanding my cycling life," he said.

Engleman is a Pittston native and cycling enthusiast who lives near Philadelphia. He began the ride as a way to share the roads he biked growing up and the beauty of Northeast Pennsylvania with his friends from out of town. It’s expanded this year to feature, for the first time, an Outdoor and Arts Festival with more than 60 local and national vendors at the Pittston Tomato Festival Grounds on Broad Street.

The ride starts in downtown Pittston and heads through the woods behind Engleman’s childhood home in the junction section of the city. Riders traverse along the Susquehanna River and into Ransom Twp. Cyclists will go through the Abingtons and around Lake Winola, taking in beautiful vistas and 360 views of the region.

Mid-way through the ride they stop for tacos on Margaret Hallow Road in Tunkhannock. Then they head back around Harveys Lake, through Frances Slocum State Park and onto the Back Mountain Rail Trail and the Luzerne County Levee Trail before ending where the ride started.

"It's the perfect tour of the valley," said Engleman.

The ride is a gravel cycle — which is essentially riding on back roads or dirt and gravel roads. It's one of the fastest growing sectors of cycling, he said.

“A lot of the gravel events are really about hanging out and seeing a new small town and going somewhere you've never been before,” he said.

Organizers are expecting the events to draw around 1,000 people to the area.

Engleman hopes that the cyclists come back to the area not just for the ride but because they enjoyed a meal they had or want to explore the region during a different season.

"They saw something beautiful and they want to bring their friends and they want to talk about what a great time they had," he said.

Sunday’s ride is a fundraiser for the Keystone Youth Mountain Bike Team, whose members help with logistics. It’s already at capacity but Engleman said there are other shorter rides at 40, 60 and 75 miles. In conjunction with the festival and ride, the Ski Shack is also leading a 3.6 mile community hike to Campbell’s Ledge in Duryea on Sunday.

For more details, visit cliffviewproductions.com or Lu Lacka Wyco Hundo on Facebook or Instagram.

Kat Bolus is the community reporter for the newly-formed WVIA News Team. She is a former reporter and columnist at The Times-Tribune, a Scrantonian and cat mom.