Cyclists Ride & Drink to Raise Money

August 18, 2005, HASTINGS, NE Led by two motorcycle mounted police officers, over 100 cyclists departed from Highland Park en route to the Pioneer Spirit Trail as they participated in the fifth annual Kool-Aid Classic Bicycle Tour held on Saturday, August 13. The Hastings Police Department offered the motorcycle escort to the cyclists so they could safely cross the 16th St. overpass, reach the trailhead at 22nd St. and cross Route 281 at Kansas St. Cyclists then traversed the trail along Lake Hastings and through Libs Park before continuing their journeys of 30 or 60 miles through Hastings and the surrounding countryside where they drank plenty of Kool-Aid. With generous help from the cyclists and local area sponsors, $700 was raised for the trail.

Despite overcast skies and cooler temperatures, a record number of 116 people registered for the event, 27 from Hastings and 89 from out-of town including 6 from other states, three from Iowa , two from Kansas and one from Missouri. Other Nebraska towns well represented included 19 from Kearney, 16 from Grand Island, 13 from Lincoln and 10 from the Omaha metropolitan area. Last year's event had 103 cyclists.

The event was organized by Hastings Unique Bicyclists, HUB, and held in conjunction with Kool-Aid Days in Hastings, Nebraska and would not be possible without the support of the volunteers and sponsors. A special thanks to the volunteers that helped out before and/or during the event including: Elmer and Barb Murman, Bob and Sharon Breckner, Ben Green, Amy Morris, Drew Ceperley and Bruce and Alisa Sandahl.

Special thanks also to the sponsors who gave either cash or in-kind support including: the Bike Shed of Kearney, Blue Moon Coffee Company, Brown's Shoe Fit, Business World Products, Family Medical Center, Five Points Bank, Hogan's Sporting Goods, Keith's Pharmacies, Mama Rosey's, McBride & Arneson Vision Clinic and Physical Therapy & Sports Rehab of Hastings.

In five years, this event has raised nearly $3500 for the Pioneer Spirit Trail. The money has been placed in a special fund with the Hastings Community Foundation to be used for the construction, beautification and maintenance of the trail. Construction of Phase 1 of the hike and bike trail, a two-mile stretch near Lake Hastings, was completed last summer. Construction of Phase 2, through Heartwell Park and the Hastings College campus, has begun. Once completed, the trail will include 20 miles of paved off-road pedestrian/bike trails in and around the city.

Next year's event is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 12, 2006. For more information about the Kool-Aid Classic Bicycle Tour, contact tour directors Bruce and Alisa Sandahl at 402-463-1138 or

Cyclists listen during riders meeting.
Depart with motorcycle escort.
More cyclists depart.
Cyclists cross South Shore Dr at Lake Hastings.
Cyclists enjoy refreshments at rest stop.