What do you do on Saturday mornings in the summer? Whenever we can, we bike through the backroads of rural Kansas with our pals...exploring all the little towns, checking the crops, waving to the farmers...and all that!
Last Saturday we participated in a very special ride to benefit Open Door, a local homeless ministry. We started at a local Methodist church, then rode to various churches all around the area, eventually covering about 100 kilometers (66 miles in all!). At each stop we were greeted with snacks, drinks, encouragement, hospitality and a shady spot to rest! Above in photo, a bunch of my girlfriends (I'm 4th from left) looking perky BEFORE the ride.
We passed through lots of small towns along the way...Maize, Bentley, Sedgwick, Valley Center, Furley (above), Kechi, and finally returned to Wichita. I challenge all of you Kansans to locate these towns!
One of our favorite stops wasn't at a church...just in a friendly farmer's front yard. There really wasn't a town closeby, so we contacted the farmer in advance for us to set up in his yard! The people running this stop were all from my Sunday School class. Check out the awesome K-State Wildcats shelter!
The whole ride really began months earlier with lots of planning meetings, committees and preparation. Alan was in charge of marking the route, so he spent the 2 evenings before the route putting markers all over the county. We had about 20 of these t-shirt signs, along with 12 cans of spray paint arrows all over the pavement. Alan's pointer finger may still look fluorescent orange from defacing roadways with spray paint on a very windy evening!
These twin sister riders won the prize for their Bike Princess costumes, complete with fuzzy helmets and (temporary) princess tattoes. Cindy (right) is also a local Methodist pastor.
As always, we celebrated with FOOD! The night before, 13 friends gathered at our house for some carb-loading and a potluck pasta dinner. Then we ate our way through the 100K, 5 hour ride. Later that evening, we met friends for homemade ice cream and leftover goodies from the rest stops.
The BEST part is, so far we have raised $20,000 and the donations continue to arrive. Last year, the ride raised $30,000, so we are optimistic to reach that goal again. Meanwhile, I'm done with that skinny bike seat...until this Saturday morning!