Kool-Aid Keeps Cyclists Smiling

August 17, 2009, HASTINGS, NE – Despite a few sprinkles during the bike ride, cyclists kept smiling during the 9th Annual Kool-Aid Classic Bicycle Tour on Saturday, August 15. Held in conjunction with Kool-Aid Days, a city-wide festival celebrating the creation of the colorful drink, cyclists from all over Nebraska and surrounding states 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, $1550 was raised for the trail.

Of the 155 people who registered for the event, 31 were from Hastings and 124 were from out-of-town including 12 from other states (four from Wyoming, two from Kansas, two from Minnesota, two from Missouri, one from Colorado and one all the way from Texas). Other Nebraska towns well-represented included 23 from Lincoln, 14 from Omaha, 12 from Grand Island and 11 each from Kearney and Aurora.

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, Drew Ceperley, Ruthie Kelly, Amy Morris, Elmer and Barb Murman 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 and Oakeson, Steiner & Lindsteadt.

In nine years, this event has raised $8500 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 between Elm Avenue and Osborne Drive East. Now a four-mile continuous trail runs through Hastings from the train station on 1st Street, north along East Side Boulavard, east through Heartwell Park, north past Hastings College and Parkview Cemetery, west over to Osborne Drive East, across Hwy 281, west through Lake Hastings Park, south along Baltimore Avenue and through Libs Park. The master plan for the Pioneer Spirit Trail includes 20 miles of paved off-road pedestrian/bike trails in and around the city.

Next year’s event is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 14, 2010. 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.