Soaked Cyclists Smile for Kool-Aid

See more photos from the 2008 Kool-Aid Classic Bicycle Tour.

August 20, 2008, HASTINGS, NE – Rain showers did not dampen the spirits of 161 cyclists as they participated in the 8th Annual Kool-Aid Classic Bicycle Tour on Saturday, August 9. Held in conjunction with Kool-Aid Days, a city-wide festival celebrating the creation of the colorful drink, a record number of cyclists braved the challenging conditions and rode their bicycles either 30 or 60-miles through the quiet country roads surrounding the birthplace of Kool-Aid. The bike ride is organized by Hastings Unique Bicyclists (HUB) to raise money for the Pioneer Spirit Trail (PST), a hike and bike trail being built in and around Hastings. With generous help from the cyclists and local area sponsors, $1250 was raised for the trail.

Of the 161 people who registered for the event, 32 were from Hastings and 129 were from out-of-town including 14 from other states (eight from Kansas, three from Missouri, one from Iowa, one from Oklahoma and one all the way from Alaska). Other Nebraska towns well-represented include 40 from Lincoln, 17 from Grand Island, 16 from Kearney and 10 from the Omaha metropolitan area.

The event 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: John Brooks, Doris Breckner, Bob and Sharon Breckner, Amy Morris, Drew Ceperley and Bruce and Alisa Sandahl.

Special thanks also to the sponsors who gave either cash or in-kind support including: Barista’s Daily Grind, Bauer & Howard Dental Care, Bike Shed of Kearney, Brown’s Shoe Fit, Eakes Office Plus, Family Medical Center of Hastings, Five Points Bank of Hastings, Garden Café Grill & Bakery, Hastings Vision Clinic, Inkredible Inc., Keith’s Pharmacies, Physical Therapy & Sports Rehab of Hastings and Schuldt Chiropractic: A Creating Wellness Center.

In eight years, this event has raised $7000 for the Pioneer Spirit Trail system. 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 system. In 2007, $6000 from the Pioneer Spirit Trail fund was donated to the City of Hastings to help purchase the land for the final section of Phase 2. That section, now under construction, will connect Phase 1 with the rest of Phase 2. Phase 1 is a two-mile stretch near Lake Hastings and was completed in 2004. Phase 2 goes through Heartwell Park and the Hastings College campus. The connection will run from the American Legion Wayside along Osborne Drive East to Parkview Cemetery along Elm Street. Once completed, the trail system 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 15, 2009. For more information about the Kool-Aid Classic Bicycle Tour, contact tour directors Bruce and Alisa Sandahl at 402-463-1138 or absandahl@windstream.net.

Everyone tries to stay dry under the shelter.
Bruce gives his "Sink or Swim" speech.
Everyone was happy to see John at the first stop.
"Kool-Aid makes you strong!"
Cyclists fly by the corn in the "No Passing" zone.
Cyclists enjoy the descent into Ayr.
Everyone enjoys talking with Doris at the final stop.

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