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Lathrop Rec offering virtual bicycle ride to Half Dome challenge
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Zach Jones and the rest of the staff the Lathrop Parks and Recreation Department have done everything in their power to keep the community up and active during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And now they want to take residents on a bike ride to Yosemite’s famed Half Dome – virtually, of course.

Next month the city will begin a 30-day bicycle challenge for all residents to log 120 miles behind the handlebars – the approximate distance from Lathrop to the famed granite monolith.

By using the City of Lathrop’s Challenge Runner program that allows residents to chart their progress on popular fitness apps like Fitbit, Apple Health, Google Fit Mobile, Samsung Health, Strava, and Garmin, the city will reward three people who complete the challenge with City of Lathrop grab bags.

The event is scheduled to begin on Sept. 14, and more information can be found by registering at

The innovative approach towards providing community recreation is just a continuation of the work that Jones and his staff have been doing since March – trying to come up with ways to keep people in the community active and engaged while at the same time observing social distancing requirements.
Earlier this month the department hosted the Lathrop Backyard Campout and encouraged residents to spend the night in tents on their property while sharing their photos to social media apps so that the community could have the sense that they were celebrating together.

It’s the same forward-thinking approach that salvaged National Night Out – which is typically one of the larger community events every year – by encouraging residents to write inspirational messaged with sidewalk chalk and having city officials including representatives from police and fire services drive the streets and honor those who went above and beyond.

With Thrive Church and the New Lathrop Neighborhood Watch providing the chalk, dozens of families took advantage of the opportunity – breathing new life into the event rather than forcing a cancellation because gatherings outside of the household are still largely discouraged.

For additional information about upcoming events, or to see the extensive list of remote options that the Lathrop Parks and Recreation Department has implemented to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the City of Lathrop’s website at and click on the Parks and Recreation Department tab under Departments.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.