NEW HAVEN — A new event is coming to the Bend Area that will not only provide entertainment for its participants, but also help children in need at Christmas.
The inaugural Claflin C.A.R.E. Bike Ride will be hosted by the Bend Area C.A.R.E. organization July 19 at the New Haven Baseball Fields/Bachtel United Methodist Church.
Unlike a bicycle race, the riding format will be multiple laps around an 8.5-mile loop, according to Jodie Roush, organizer of the ride. The entire family can join because there will be turn-around points at various locations for those unable to go the entire distance.
“The multiple lap format will allow riders to ride at their own pace without being left behind,” Roush said.
Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m., and riders may begin riding any time between 8 and 11 a.m. All are expected to return to the ball fields by noon, when they will be treated to an all-you-can-eat cookout. Snacks and drinks will also be provided at the start/finish area.
The ride will begin at the ball fields, proceed to Midway Drive, then left onto Rt. 62 to Sporn. From there, bikers will turn onto Broad Run Road, Gun Club Road, back onto Rt. 62 to Layne Street, and finally back to Midway Drive.
Although the event is not a race, an award will be given to the team that completes the most laps. Roush said riders will be given a rubber bracelet for each lap completed. There is no limit to the number of riders per team.
There will be patrol workers stationed along the course for any assistance riders might need. Helmets are highly recommended, according to Roush, but are required for all riders under 16 years of age. Children under 16 must also be accompanied by an adult.
Registration for the bike ride is $20 for each participant. Checks, made payable to Bend Area C.A.R.E., can be mailed to Jodie T. Roush, 5017 Charleston Road, Point Pleasant, WV 25550. The first 40 people to register will receive a free T-shirt.
All money raised from the ride will go toward the organization’s “Kids for Christmas” program. Last year, more than 80 needy children were provided $12,000 in gifts and treats during the holidays.
“This is a great opportunity for riders of all abilities to join together and support the Bend Area C.A.R.E.’s Christmas assistance program,” Roush added.
Money for the initial cost of the ride was provided by a $1,000 grant from the Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation. The grant was awarded in December 2013 by the foundation president, Stephen Littlepage.
“The Claflin Foundation’s generous funding has provided event T-shirts, snacks and lunch for the cyclists,” Roush said.
For more information on the race, contact Roush at 304-593-4446, or any member of Bend Area C.A.R.E.