- Associated Press - Monday, July 21, 2014

MONROE, Mich. (AP) - The bicyclists come for many reasons.

Some just love to ride. Others enjoy the camaraderie or the exercise, according to the Monroe News (http://bit.ly/1lTKw84 ).

At 10 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, a group of bicyclists meets at the gazebo in the Riverfront Park parking lot along the River Raisin. They ride miles through town up to Sterling State Park and back.

For some riders, the journey is about 22 miles.

Greg Koesel and his wife, Carol, are avid riders and introduced the group rides last year.

“We usually take the same route, but sometimes we’ll vary it,” Greg Koesel said. “We always stop at one of the local places for coffee.”

The group consists of about 15 riders, most of whom are retired. Their backgrounds might be different - from retired police officer to cancer survivors - but they all enjoy the ride.

“Everyone is eligible to come ride,” Greg Koesel said. “There is no membership.”

The 67-year-old had been interested in riding for a while, but it flourished again thanks to his son, David Koesel, who owns a bicycle company in Irvine, Calif.

Raisinville Township resident John Sharkey, 56, joins the group nearly every ride.

In 2011, he was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma. When he was in remission, Sharkey decided to get back on a bike.

“It’s good exercise and these are good people,” he said.

Sharkey said his doctor recommended more exercise so the biking also helps him maintain his health. He enjoys riding with the group.

“It’s a lot more fun to ride together than alone,” Sharkey said.