Saturday morning, Jan and I joined with fifteen other riders for the third annual Employee Benevolence Fund Ride. This ride benefits a fund where I work that gives financial assistance to employees in need. Paul Sesock, a former employee, started the ride a couple of years ago and I accepted the responsibility when he left this month to be a hospital chaplain at a local hospital. In his honor I present this photo of him from last year. As I took the pic, he was debating if he should slow down in order to be compliant with the law or not!
I’ve waited for over a year to make that joke and now that I have gotten it out of the way, I can get back to this years’ ride.
We kept the same route as the last two years, starting from the Positronic’s parking lot on north Eldon. The loop went counter-clockwise to the Willard McDonald’s. From there we went south and ended up coming back into Springfield on FR140 (Grand) and then north on Orchard Crest to our beginning point.
This year, I came up with a brain-storm. Why not try to get a Celebrity Rider? My pick was easy. Tracy and Pam Wilkins are well known in the local cycling community and he writes a cycling blog that is read nationwide. He and Pam graciously accepted my invite, were able to bring a couple of their friends, and I was delighted. I had first met Tracy one evening while Jan and I were going to see our daughter and he was cycling home.
A wide cross section of riders gathered to begin their trek. Shane, John (in red) and Robert (in green) listen on as John (arm outstretched) and Scott (orange) discuss the coming route.
Pam, Jan, and Susan (behind Kyle) were our three lady riders. Jan is my wife who got me started in the cycling thing. Such a sweetheart!
Pam, Kyle, Paul, and Scott. Kyle had found a bike some time back and I wrote of it here.
The rest stop came after only ten miles. That is really not very far, but then this ride was more designed for the camaraderie and the building of friendships than for putting the miles down. After a reasonable time, we all headed back out for the final fifteen miles.
The only real hill was a quick one right before Clear Creek Cemetery. Let it now be known that while going up the hill, Jan dropped me.
Without any effort.
Without looking back.
After she let me catch up, we bid farewell to Kyle and slowed the pace in order to make sure that those behind were doing ok.
Back at the start, Susan, Scott, and John finish up. Scott and John decided on a second lap and soon headed out again. Troopers, that’s what they are.
The ride was a success and I appreciated the good feedback. Everyone survived and for some of us, this was one of the longer rides we had ever done. A sincere thanks go out to Jan Meese for helping with organization and email announcements, to Paul Sesock for starting this whole endeavor,and to Tracy and Pam Wilkins for being our Celebrity Riders (and such good sports, too!). Thanks to all whole contributed to the fund! Plans are in the works to do this again next May, with a Main Ride and a shorter Family Ride.
Until then, Stay happy,