Bike ride draws cyclists of all ages

Published 4:57 pm Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cyclists stream out of the Butler County Fairgrounds Saturday morning as the 2nd Annual Butler County Bike Ride gets underway. The event, which draws cycling enthusiasts from across the area, is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. Relay is scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m. Friday, May 6 at the Greenville Y.

With riders from elementary school age to senior citizens, the 2nd Annual Butler County Bike Ride for the American Cancer Society got underway on a “beautiful, beautiful day” last weekend, said event co-organizer Karen Higgins.

The 70 cyclists participating in the event “couldn’t have had a nicer day for it,” Higgins said.

Prior to their departure from the Butler County Fairgrounds, the cyclists enjoyed breakfast from Hardee’s, prayer time and an inspirational message from Woodie Scott of Antioch East Baptist Church, whose 18-year-old daughter Ashley is a cancer survivor.

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The youngest cyclist in the adult division came all the way from Mobile. Gus Grow, age 10, is planning to participate in the Cheaha Challenge, but needed a more demanding course than the flatlands of Baldwin County provide, said Higgins.

“He asked us if he could participate and I said OK as long as his mom went along with him. The longest distance he had ever ridden in one go was 34 miles,” Higgins said.

The young boy, who became the favorite of the motorcycle riders who accompanied the cyclists on the route, managed to complete the entire 66-mile course.

Patti Presley, who chronicled the event in photographs, said she told Gus she was very proud of him for completing the event.

“He told me, ‘I’m just too tired to be proud right now,'” Presley laughed.

Several children participated in the Kids’ Ride, including a group that rode in support of local child battling cancer, little Nate Simmons.

“It was a good event and we appreciate everyone who supported it and participated in it,” said Higgins.

The Butler County Relay For Life is set for May 6 at the Greenville Y.

Those interested in serving as sponsors for the event are reminded the deadlines are fast approaching. Contact sponsorship chair Charlene Powell at 382-5685 or by email at