Bicyclists pause in front of the Mickey Shunick "ghost bike" Memorial during a ride through the Mickey Shunick Memorial Bike Loop on Thursday, July 6, 2017, in Lafayette. The Mickey Shunick Memorial Bike Ride departed from Rotary Point and the public was welcome.

The fourth annual Mickey Shunick Loop Ride is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, according to a news release from Forward Lafayette and Bike Lafayette. 

The ride, which begins and ends at Girard Park, has celebrated the life of Mickey Shunick, who was kidnapped while riding her bike in Lafayette in May 2012. Her body was found in August 2012 in Evangeline Parish. 

The ride is held on the anniversary of the resolution establishing the Mickey Shunick Memorial Bike Loop in her honor. It was originally scheduled for July 18 but was postponed to allow time for recovery from Hurricane Barry.

Last year, event organizers partnered with the Judice family to honor JeanPaul Judice, who was killed in 2017 while walking his bike. This year, the ride will be in honor of Mickey, JeanPaul and all other deceased members of the community who were passionate about riding bikes or were killed while biking.

“This event is an annual tradition that began as an effort to save the West Bayou Parkway bike lanes. It also became a way to honor Mickey and build community through cycling,” said Mark deClouet, a Forward Lafayette organizer. “We have honored Mickey and JeanPaul in the past, but I think we all know someone who has been killed or injured while riding a bike. Now we are giving everyone the chance to celebrate the lives of cyclists they knew.”

Bike Lafayette, a nonprofit organization focused on bicycle education, safety and infrastructure, is partnering to host the event.

“We are happy to aid in organizing the Mickey ride because it fits well within our group’s mission,” said Bike Lafayette board member Matthew Holland. “It is an excellent ride for cyclists of all levels, and it offers a positive environment for riders to come together and feel safe as a community.”

The ride will take participants in a loop around Lafayette’s city center, from Girard Park through the University, passing Cajun Field and Moncus Park before returning to Girard Park via West Bayou Parkway.

“Not only does the Mickey Loop Ride help to build fellowship among riders, but it also serves as a cross-section of the types of infrastructure investments that have been made for cyclists in our city. Some portions of it serve as a model for bicycle safety, and others highlight the long journey we have ahead of us to make Lafayette more accessible to bicycle riders and pedestrians,” said Holland.

The ride will begin and end in the small parking lot at Girard Park. The ride organizers recommend parking in one of the larger lots in the park or in the nearby Oil Center which has ample street parking. Organizers also encourage all riders and nonriders to attend the official after-party, hosted by The Wurst Biergarten.