Unlucky 13 turns into Perfect Ride

August 20, 2013, HASTINGS, NE – Despite being the 13th Annual Kool-Aid Classic Bicycle Tour, it turned out to be perfect day for a bike ride. 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 20, 40 or 65-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, $2,500 was raised for the trail.

“The Classic was awesome – so welcoming, well-marked, well run, and such a beautiful ride!” said Barb Bortner, a first-time rider from McCook, NE.

Of the 243 people who registered for the event, 70 were from Hastings and 173 were from out-of-town including 16 from other states (5 from Kansas; three from Iowa; two each from Colorado and Missouri; and one each from California, New Mexico, Texas, and Wisconsin). Other Nebraska towns well-represented included 33 from Lincoln, 21 from Grand Island, 16 each from Kearney and the Omaha area, 8 from Juniata, and 6 each from McCook and North Platte.

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: Bob and Sharon Breckner, Drew Ceperley, Kendrick Clay, Beth Kavan, Jeremy and Deborah Miles, Amy Morris and Bruce and Alisa Sandahl.

Special thanks also to the sponsors who gave either cash or in-kind support including: Barista's of Hastings, Bauer & Howard Dental Care, Bike Shed of Kearney, Brown’s Shoe Fit, Eakes Office Plus, Eileen’s Colossal Cookies, Family Medical Center of Hastings, Five Points Bank of Hastings, Hastings Holiday Inn Express, Inkredible Inc., Keith’s Pharmacies, The Kensington, Oakeson, Steiner & Lindsteadt, and Valentino's of Hastings.

In thirteen years, this event has raised $18,557 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. A 5.2 mile continuous trail runs through Hastings from the train station on 1st Street, north along East Side Boulevard, east through Heartwell Park, north past Hastings College and Parkview Cemetery, west to Osborne Drive East, across Hwy 281, west through Lake Hastings Park, south along Baltimore Avenue and through Libs Park.

Plans to expand the trail system continue with the widening of 12 Street east of Elm Avenue and the approval of Phase III to the north of Hastings. 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 9, 2014. 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.

Kool-Aid Classic 2013