Friday, October 2, 2009


On Wednesday it was time for the annual Wheelathon, a fundraiser for the local schools. The kids in grades K-2 ride from their school to the next town, about eight miles one way. The kids in grades 3-6 ride from their school to the K-2 school and back, sixteen miles one way. 

Desert Boy and I rode the entire way last year and decided we wanted to ride again this year. We got a bit of a late start so we had to ride a few miles by ourselves before we caught up with the kids. Then we saw the little kids passing us going the other direction.

The little kids were darling, and how can you not smile when you see the cute little bikes with training wheels?! These plucky kids think it's great fun to ride the eight miles, even though it was a really cold day and they were riding against the wind.

Here are a couple more riding along.

What makes the miles go by faster is that at every mile marker there is a rest stop with snacks. Everyone stops and waits for everyone to catch up. In the photo above you can see an interesting bike, a recumbent that has a solar panel. The bicyclist is going cross-country and happened to be in town during the Wheelathon and though it would be fun to participate. He ended up taking kids who needed a rest on the back of his bike.

The school bus also followed, picking up anyone who needed a break.

After biking eight miles, Desert Boy and I (okay it was just my decision) decided we needed a break and loaded the bike and trailer on the bus and went for a bus ride. I didn't think I was quite up to riding with a trailer against the gusty wind, especially since my training for the Wheelathon consisted of riding two miles in the last two weeks.

Most of the kids were able to make it the entire distance, though. I was really impressed with their fortitude. The last few miles took a bit longer, but they kept after it.

The route is fairly barren, so it's not like they have cheering crowds along the way to distract them. Or much of anything along the way to distract them, unless you count some pretty flowering rabbitbrush.

Or Desert Boy getting off at some of the stops so he could get a snack.

At the end it was time for lunch. Everyone seemed to eat heartily. They had worked up good appetites!

Following lunch there was a little program, but it was time for Desert Boy's nap, so we couldn't stay for that. 

We'll have to keep teaching Desert Boy to pedal his own bike. In a year or two maybe he'll be able to ride some of the Wheelathon by himself.


The Incredible Woody said...

What an awesome fund raiser!!

Gayle A. Robison, DVM said...

What a wonderful, fun thing to do! And though the roadside is barren, you have got some of the greatest views in the world when you look off across the desert and toward the mountains. Cleanest air in the lower 48 RIGHT THERE.

Anonymous said...

That photo of Desert Boy walking away from the school bus with its stop sign out and lights fully lit will be famous someday.


Anonymous said...

That is so cool! Kudos to all those kids who rode so far. My daughter poops out after one mile, so I'm really impressed by their endurance.

jendoop said...

That is a great idea for a fundraiser. I don't dare let my kids ride in the road right in front of the house, yet you get to ride on the highway!

Caroline said...

What a fantastic idea. You r very blessed to live where u do. Love the whole idea!


A said...

Get DB a "glider" bike without pedals. Or take the pedals off a itty bitty kids bike. He will love it. Soon he'll be zipping all over the place (okay, maybe it's not such a good idea to let him have his own wheels). After about a year of that, Tobias has been riding his "pedal bike" since before his 4th birthday.

Anonymous said...

Makes me think of our morning bike rides and the "enormous" hills! :) At least you remembered your camera!

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