“Grape” Year Smashes Record

August 14, 2016, HASTINGS, NE – A record breaking bunch of cyclists participated in this year’s grape-themed Kool-Aid Classic Bicycle Tour. A total of 295 people registered for the event, smashing the previous record of 266 set in 2014.

Now in its 16th year, the event is 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, $3,000 was raised for the trail.

“What an amazing group of cyclist[s]…coming from all ends of the earth to enjoy the Kool Aid bicycle tour,” wrote Ralph Thompson of Lincoln on the Kool-Aid Classic Facebook page.

Of the record-breaking number of registered cyclists, 74 were from Hastings and 221 were from out-of-town including 18 from other states (five from Kansas; three from Colorado; two each from Illinois, Iowa, Texas and Wyoming; and one each from Missouri and Wisconsin). Other well-represented Nebraska towns included 41 from Lincoln, 39 from Grand Island, 37 from Kearney, 13 from the Omaha area, 7 from North Platte, and 6 from Giltner.

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, Bob and Sharon Breckner, John Brooks, Drew Ceperley and Amy Morris, Ben and Caitlin Dumas, Beth Kavan, Maddi McConnaughhay, 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, Borthwick Engineering, 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.

In sixteen years, this event has raised $27,517 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. With the recent addition of a 3.1 mile section, the Pioneer Spirit Trail is now an 8.9-mile continuous trail system connecting residential areas, shopping districts, schools and recreational areas.

Next year’s event is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 12, 2017. 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

It's going to be a "Grape" year!

Ready for the start.

Recumbents and trailers.

Enjoying a great day!

Say "Kool-Aid!"

Quiet roads