By JAMES BELL
Throughout the day Monday over 800 riders from Biking Across Kansas rolled into Hays to enjoy the sites and sounds of the city.
On the outside of town, members of the Donlay family greeted riders as they passed by hoping to see friends that were participating in the ride.
“We’ll see some of the bikers and head home,” said Chelsea Donlay.
Donlay said she believes the ride encourages healthy behaviors and with her three children — Rowyn, Brynn and Ethan — she waved and greeted riders as they passed by.
“I think it tries to show people to get healthy and fit and just encourages people,” she said, adding she felt the brief words shared as the riders passed by help motivate them on their journey.
She saw it as a benefit to Hays as well.
“It brings some people that may not normally travel through Hays. It shows them what we have as far as our community and our downtown area,” she said.
Melissa Dixon, executive director of the Hays Visitor and Convention Bureau, agreed.
“If it is people that have not been here before, we want to show off what we have and to show them a good time,” Dixon said.
While local attractions extended hours and days for the riders to enjoy, Dixon also noted the benefits to the community by having the tour come through and hopes they will request to come through Hays again.
“They are definitely going to visit our attractions and eat at our restaurants while they are here, so we want to take care of them and show them a good time and have them back again,” she said.