Kiwanis Club bike ride rolls to success

Ellyce Shulman and her husband Gary smile at the finish of the Kiwanis Club Summer Challenge Bike Ride.  - Don Macaluso photo
Ellyce Shulman and her husband Gary smile at the finish of the Kiwanis Club Summer Challenge Bike Ride.
— image credit: Don Macaluso photo

Jim Snook, chairman of the third annual Bainbridge Island Kiwanis Club Summer Challenge Bike Ride, reports that the event was very successful. It raised more than $5,000 for the club.

Held on a sunny and balmy Sunday, Aug. 26, many riders at the end of the 16-, 34- or 52-mile courses commented on the perfect cycling weather. The Kiwanians have had the good fortune of having excellent weather all three years the event has been held.

Organizers said more riders than ever came out for the event.

“The Summer Challenge has seen an increase of riders by over 100 percent, growing from 82 the first year to 170 this year,” Snook said. “Many riders took advantage of the new 54-mile route added this year that requires one to climb nearly 5,000 feet of elevation.”

Finding ways to inform cycling groups throughout the Puget Sound area has been a learning experience which the publicity and registration committees are getting better at each year. Slowly but surely word is getting around about the extremely scenic route options and the food the club provides at rest stops. The free blackberry sundae at the finish has been a big hit and will be continued next year.

“There are several groups and individuals within the club that commit numerous hours to ensure this event is a major success, but ultimately it is about the riders and the money raised to help the many youth and community projects the Kiwanis Club supports,” Snook said.

The Woodward Student of the Month program, Educator of the Year award, the Father Reads program at the elementary schools, college scholarships for high school seniors, the annual Bike Rodeo, youth Summer camp scholarships, the Citizen of the Year Award and the Distinguished Citizen Memorial at Battlepoint Park are just a few of the activities the club sponsors.

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time, and all proceeds from the various events are used to fund Bainbridge Island youth programs and community projects.

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