The 8th Annual Pilot Club Spring Fever Bike Ride takes off at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 21, from Hopkins County Regional Civic Center. Over the past seven years, almost 2,000 riders have participated in the annual Spring Fever Bike Ride. Riders come from near and far — some from good old Sulphur Springs, others from surrounding places like the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Greenville, Gilmer and Bogota; and even cycling enthusiasts from as far away as Austin, Houston, Waxahachie, Wichita Falls and Ashdown, Tulsa, Okla., and Little Rock, Ark.
Coordinating the 2009 Spring Fever Bike Ride are Judy Laub and Jane Goldsmith. This year’s event will include 12-, 22-, 42- and 53-mile rides through the communities of Greenview, Miller Grove, Brashear, Ridgeway, Gafford Chapel, Emblem and Peerless. Ride maps may be viewed by visiting www.sspilotclub.org. Reviews posted by riders from previous years’ bike rides can be found by clicking on the “bike review” link on www.bicycle-stuff.com.
The 2009 Spring Fever Bike Ride will feature six rest stops for the riders, one every 8-10 miles. At each stop there will be restrooms, fruit, drinks, homemade cookies and other goodies to help sustain riders along the course. Pilot Club members and volunteers will man “sag wagons” (support vehicles for cyclists; sometimes referred to as “Support Aid Group” or “Support And Gear) all along the ride routes to provide mechanical and medical assistance for the riders as needed.
All riders will start and finish their trek on the Civic Center grounds, where Hopkins County stew will be cooked that morning over open fires in huge cast-iron pots. In 2008, eight pots of stew were cooked. The stew cooks include Pilot Club members, “Co-Pilots” and community volunteers. Among the cooks will be Pilot Club member Judy Gregg, a past winner of the World Famous Hopkins County Stew Contest in the beef stew division.
Homemade desserts provided by Pilot Club members will complete the meal.
“The Pilot Club is very appreciative of the community support provided for our Spring Fever Bike Ride. This is our only fundraiser of the year and would not be possible without the tremendous community support we receive,” notes Pilot Club member Tina Phillips.
Anyone interested in participating in the Spring Fever Bike Ride may obtain a registration form from the Pilot Club website, www.sspilotclub.org, or simply show up for registration, which starts at 7 a.m. Saturday, March 21, on the Civic Center grounds. A registration fee of $30 will be assessed per rider. The Pilot Club members are preparing for more than 400 riders for the 2009 Spring Fever Bike Ride.
Prizes are awarded for the first place finisher in each ride, male and female. If there are more than 300 people registered for the ride, a second place prize will also be paid.
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