One hundred and seven riders, a 55% increase from last year, enjoyed a trek through the Shenandoah Valley on a beautiful fall day as they “cycled for service” in Bike Shenandoah, now in its 15th year.
Bikers choose between a challenging 100-mile journey and an easy five mile jaunt, or something in between, as they traversed Harrisonburg’s back roads on September 22. Participants paid $5,330 in fees while raising about $6,466 from individual sponsorships with an additional $5,936 coming from corporate sponsors, totaling approximately $17,732.
Kevin Hegg completed the century ride (100 miles) but stopped to assist another rider who crashed 96 miles into the course when strong winds caught and twisted his front wheel as he reached for his water bottle. Although taken to the hospital for x-rays, the other rider’s injuries were minor.
Through the ordeal, these two men forged a bond. Kevin commented, “The best part of the ride was meeting new people and making friends.”
A bicycle technician, six HAM radio operators, three support vehicle personnel, rest area hosts and the coordinating committee provided assistance throughout the day to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all participants.
The fun and camaraderie were palpable as individual riders, couples and families gathered at the start or returned after their ride to enjoy a hot burrito meal provided by Heather Cribb and her team. Many commented on the excellent snacks available at the three rest areas: Mole Hill Bikes, Lindale and Mt. Clinton Mennonite churches. Others noted Jay Leaman’s untiring efforts to improve the routes.
Bike Shen is an event you won’t want to miss. Mark your calendars for next year’s ride on Saturday, September 21.
Eric Trinka (center) gets Bike Shenandoah riders ready for the five-mile family ride. There were five rides: 100 miles, 62, 30, 15, and 5 miles.
Photo by Mary Eicholtz / Your Thousand Words Photography