The 20th annual Bike for Life started out…. rather wet. We had a bit of a delay getting started due to the rainy conditions, not to mention it was pretty dark yet this late in the year. Once the rain stopped and the sun started to rise, 11 riders started the 100-mile journey to the Alpha Center. And we were only about 15 minutes later than planned so all in all it wasn’t too bad. The temp was a cool 56 degrees and the wind was mild, at first.
We made it about 8 miles when we had our first flat tire. A few of the riders stayed back to fix the tire and the rest of us got back on the road to try to not lose too much time getting to Parkston. The bike with the flat continued to have trouble so the guys decided to work on it in Parkston and the rider got a ride in the pickup there. We arrived in Parkston around 9:15 am, which is only about 15 minutes behind our normal schedule, especially considering we started fighting the mostly south easterly wind and continued to have drizzle off and on.
After having a delicious breakfast at Faith Lutheran Church in Parkston, (the egg bake was especially amazing! 😊) and attempting to fix the bike tire, we were on the road again! The pastor also provided anyone who wanted, little hand warmers to put in our gloves, or shoes! I for one will be the first to say what a life saver they were for my toes! Thank you so much for them! The leg from Parkston to Freeman was a tough one, fighting the cooler temps, wind and on and off rain/drizzle we were ready to rest and eat by the time we reached our destination. Our poor bike with the tire troubles didn’t make it to Freeman, it had yet another flat and it was decided to load the bike up and call it a day for that rider. It was a long, slow ride and we didn’t arrive until about 1:10 pm, over an hour past our usual arrival time.
We had a well needed rest and very yummy lunch at St. Paul Lutheran Church. One rider joined us in Freeman, making our number of riders 12. After a very short discussion with the group, it was a unanimous decision to load all the bikes up and drive to Wieman Land & Auction, about 10 miles from Parker, to try to get back on schedule and also to attempt to miss some rain. Once there we unloaded all the bikes and got back on the road. The rest of the trip to Parker was pretty uneventful, and we arrived at about 2:30 pm, back on schedule.
We were back on the road by about 3:00 pm and a few of the riders decided to take a ride in the pickups instead of biking. This year’s ride has been much harder on us all and some of us aren’t as young as we used to be! 😊 We needed to take different route this year due to road construction, so we headed East right out of Parker. I can’t be sure of this, but I think that road is much hillier! The rain continued to keep the riders wet for this leg of the ride as well. However, we were able to make use of the stronger winds while on the roads heading north.
We made a quick stop once we hit the bike trails in Sioux Falls and all put on our new Bike for Life shirts that the Alpha Center so generously provided for us again this year, then finished the remaining mile or so to our final destination.
We arrived at the Alpha Center at about 5:30 pm, which was pretty in-line with our average arrival time, to a whole bunch of cheering people and honking horns. It is always so worth it once we hear and see the celebration that is put on for us! A few minutes after we arrived, 2 riders that rode from Brookings arrived and made our group of riders a total of 14. We took a few pictures, then headed inside to a lovely supper provided to us by the Alpha Center.
Despite the unfavorable conditions, we reached our destination once again! As of today, we have raised over $3,000 for the Alpha Center! Once again, saving babies one mile at a time!
Thank you so much to everyone who helped to make this day possible for us once again. Thank you to the support drivers, it is a tough job, but so very important to the riders, we couldn’t do it without your support! Thank you to all who provided us a place to rest and delicious food to eat. Thank you to Krulls Market in Armour for once again providing water, Gatorade and snacks for the trip. Thank you to everyone who has kept us in your prayers and to all who have donated to our worthy cause. We couldn’t do this without each and every one of you! It is hard to believe we have been keeping this ride going for 20 years now. All thanks be to God!