Blue Sky Ride for Kool-Aid Cyclists

August 19, 2015, HASTINGS, NE – After overnight storms dropped over 1.5 inches of rain, cyclists from around the central U.S. took to the quiet county roads surrounding the birthplace of Kool-Aid for the 15th Annual Kool-Aid Classic Bicycle Tour on Saturday, August 8. Held in conjunction with Kool-Aid Days, a city-wide festival celebrating the creation of the colorful drink, cyclists rode their bicycles 20, 40 or 65-miles. 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, $2300 was raised for the trail. In addition, HUB donated $500 to the village of Roseland to help with the clean-up of the tornado damage that occurred this spring.

“It was a great day for the Kool-Aid Classic Bike Tour! The weather was perfect, the route was rider friendly, the Eileen's cookies were yummy, the shirt is great, and lunch at Valentino's was primo!,” commented Brenda Holmquist‎ from Burwell, NE on the event’s Facebook page.

Of the 242 people who registered for the event, 74 were from Hastings and 168 were from out-of-town including 16 from 5 other states (8 from Kansas; three from Missouri; two each from Colorado and Wyoming; and one from Iowa). Other Nebraska towns well-represented included 29 from Grand Island, 27 from Kearney, 23 from Lincoln, 10 from the Omaha area, four each from Giltner, Holdrege 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 before and/or during the event including: Jeff Alhers, Doyle Bankson, 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 Solutions; Eileen’s Colossal Cookies; Family Medical Center of Hastings; Five Points Bank of Hastings; Inkredible Inc.; Keith’s Pharmacies; Oakeson Steiner Wealth & Retirement; and Valentino’s of Hastings.

With construction of the new phase of the Pioneer Spirit Trail currently underway, the event has raised $23,517 for the trail system in the past 15 years. The money has been placed in a special account with the Hastings Community Foundation to be used for the construction, beautification and maintenance of the trail system. With the addition of the new phase, the trail system totals 9.2 miles of continuous trail running through Hastings connecting several parks, the Amtrak train station, and Hastings College to many neighborhoods around town.

Next year’s event is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 13, 2016. 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 2015

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Strategizing
 

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Families that ride together...
 

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Enjoying the first rest stop.
 

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And they're off.
 

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This is how we roll!
 

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Tackling the hills.
 

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