Kool-Aid Cyclists Accelerate Donations to Pioneer Spirit Trail

August 18, 2014, HASTINGS, NE – In four short years, cyclists in the Kool-Aid Classic Bicycle Tour doubled the amount of money donated to the Pioneer Spirit Trail. From 2001 to 2010, the event had contributed over $10,000 to the trail. With the $2,660 raised this year, the total amount contributed to the trail crossed the $21,000 mark.

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, $2,660 was raised for the trail this year.

“1st time on the Kool-Aid Classic. Huge success guys and gals! Had an absolutely wonderful ride. Great organization. Thank you!” commented Jan Markham from Grand Island on the event’s Facebook page.

Of the 266 people who registered for the event, 74 were from Hastings and 192 were from out-of-town including 26 from 12 other states (8 from Kansas; 5 from Colorado; four from Iowa; and one each from California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Virginia). Other Nebraska towns well-represented included 31 from Kearney, 30 from Lincoln, 19 from Grand Island, 14 from the Omaha area, 9 each from Holdrege and York, and 6 each from Aurora 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: Doyle Bankson, Rick Beecher, Bob and Sharon Breckner, John Brooks, Drew Ceperley and Amy Morris, Beth Kavan, Elmer and Barb Murman, Brian Palser, 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; Inkredible Inc.; Keith’s Pharmacies; The Kensington; Oakeson, Steiner & Lindsteadt; and Valentino’s of Hastings.

In 14 years, this event has raised $21,217 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 5.8 mile continuous trail runs through Hastings connecting several parks, the Amtrak train station, and Hastings College to many neighborhoods around town. This year, a 0.5 mile section was added along the newly expanded 12th Street from Elm Avenue to 6th Avenue.

Next year’s event is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 8, 2015. 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 2014

A friendly wave at the start.

Lined up for the start.

Walt Miller rides in the first Kool-Aid Classic T-shirt.

Lots of smiles!

Plenty of Kool-Aid!

Clear roads ahead.