By KARI BLURTON
Big bikes led little bikes as motorcyclists from American Legion Riders escorted nearly 50 cyclists from the starting point of the 26th annual Hays Area Children’s Centers Rope ‘Em Ride on Saturday morning.
“It’s really exciting and such a beautiful day,” said HACC executive director Susan Bowles. “I am so happy and honored that everybody is here.”
According to Bowles bicyclists from across the state and as far away as Boulder CO participated in the bike ride to raise funds for HACC’s support programs such the Infant Toddler Early Intervention Program (providing support for young children with special needs) and the center’s childcare services.
Sara Kay Carrell, an avid bicyclist and founder of the adventure fitness company Wild Within You, was there to offer road support for the participants.
“This is a very important ride. It’s a unique one because of the benefit its gives to the children’s center,” she said. “It is something that gets people out and lets them know they are there to help promote and provide resources for this great center we have in our town.”
This year’s ride featured new routes from the Bike Hays Master Plan and 12 stops at local artist Pete Felten’s limestone sculptures throughout Hays and as far away as Victoria.
According to HACC community relations coordinator Kelly O’Brien Koerner, the Rope ‘Em ride includes routes to fit every age and level of experience adding the age range of participants in this year’s ride varied from kindergarten age to almost 80.
Hays resident Stacey Jones brought her four children along and made the ride a family event .
“I think its such a great opportunity to raise money…it’s a great fundraiser for our children’s center,” said Jones. “It is such a beautiful day and it’s great exercise and we just thought this was a great day to come out and have a family activity.”