Tuesday, October 11, 2016

2016 Wheel-a-thon

Every year the local schools do a fundraiser called the Wheel-a-thon. Kindergarten, first, and second graders ride eight miles, and grades three through six ride 16 miles. They get pledges for riding each mile. They also stop each mile to get a mark on their hands and to get snacks and drinks. I didn't think I was going to be able to attend due to a work conflict, but the day before that was solved, so I went. The day started out with riding the bus to the road that had been shut down for the event and meeting the new superintendent.

Then it was off under very cloudy skies. The weather forecast was not favorable, and I made sure to have a raincoat packed!

The kids were always eager to go after each rest stop.

Volunteers sit at the mile markers to hand out snacks and water and do the hand marking. Many of them come year after year.

The teacher had different kids lead each mile, but over all, the kids found a place where they were happy riding and mostly rode there, talking with friends and enjoying not being in the classroom for the day.

This volunteer has been helping for over 20 years and donated all her t-shirts from the event last year. I think someone is going to make it into a quilt.

Ready to go again! Fortunately the wind held off until the last mile and a half going south. Then it was at our backs for the entire ride back.

Then we met the younger kids coming the other direction. It was like a big reunion, especially with siblings in both schools. I finished riding with the big kids and caught up with the younger kids.

The younger kids are on much smaller bikes, some still with training wheels. I think this event helps the kids ride their bikes better faster, as they want to keep up with their friends.

Adults supervise and have fun riding too. We also got to be bike mechanics, as some of the kids are growing faster and needed to have their seats raised to ride more efficiently. And then there were flat tires, chains falling off, squeaky chains, and more. We kept everyone riding.

Desert Girl is delighted that there's another girl in first grade and they rode together the whole time.

I never noticed that there is a slight hill on this road until I looked at this photo! The school bus brought up the rear. We're almost done!

Just one more mile to go! These kids are good sports, ready to keep pedaling. And they sure had a lot of revolutions to make these little bikes go!

Those training wheels provide lots of friction over the course of eight miles, so these kids get an extra workout.

At the end we took a group photo of participants and some of the volunteers.

Then it was time to go to the gym for lunch. Yum! The Parent and Teacher Association provided the main course, and then families brought in side dishes.

And desserts. There was no shortage of food!

We were grateful to have the weather cooperate and such a great day outside. I think the kids learn a lot about life during this event, like perseverance and patience. Plus they get a good dose of exercise!
You can find more on my friend Jenny's blog.

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