Cyclists ride to raise money for American Cancer Society
Published 10:19 am Monday, May 5, 2014
The American Cancer Society estimated that 1.6 million Americans will be diagnosed with a form of cancer in 2014, and about half that number will die from the disease before 2015.
Cyclists fought back on Saturday by riding in the 42nd annual Freeborn County Bike-A-Thon.
The bicycle ride is a 100-mile trip with 10 stops in Freeborn County, and the proceeds go toward cancer research at the American Cancer Society.
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“They’re all doing it for the same reason,” said event organizer LeAnn Juveland. “They’ve all been touched by cancer.”
Riders had the option of paying a $35 entry fee or collecting $35 in pledges.
Peddling began at 6 a.m. at the Sibley Elementary School warming house. Last year, a foot of snow and cold temperatures hampered the event. Cyclists rode to Glenville and came back without completing the trip.
However, this year, cyclists set out to complete the century.
“We want to do the whole 100 miles,” said Ben Kelly of Albert Lea while stopped at the fourth checkpoint in Hayward. “We plan to stop for sloppy joes in Alden and then at the finish.”
Kelly said its his third time participating in the event with Mariah McGill.
Stops on the course were at Glenville, Gordonsville, Myrtle, Hayward, Geneva, Hartland, Freeborn, Alden, Conger and Albert Lea. Local sponsors donated oranges, bananas, granola bars and water that were available at each checkpoint.
Riders also had the option to bring their own food. When Dennis Petersen rolled up to the Hayward stop, he was able to get his grub out of his saddlebags.
Juveland said 66 riders registered with varying levels of skill. Bill Weber, a rider in the original event, rode again on Saturday, and Gavin Bolinger was the youngest participant at 10 years old.
“My favorite part is watching all of the riders,” said Jodi Dreyling, a ninth-year volunteer who helped at the Hayward checkpoint. “They’re all at a different level, and they’re doing it for a good cause.”
If riders decided to turn back, organizers of the event were prepared.
“There’s never a rider out there without a support vehicle behind them. We have vans to transport those people if they want to quit and bring them back to the warming house,” Juveland said. “It gives you peace of mind.”