The third annual fundraiser Bikeathon for the High Banks Fire House took place on February 12, 2017 under beautiful clear, sunny skies with temperatures just perfect for a nice bike ride. This perfect day was very welcome as riders from last year had memories of a harrowing ride against head winds which made the ride very hard going.
The bikeathon is held each year to raise funds for the general maintenance of the firehouse, upkeep of the tanker and plans to purchase additional emergency equipment. It also is an excellent social event which brings the community of Bahama Palm Shores and surrounding communities together. Various members of the community who felt they could not ride all that way themselves but who owned bikes loaned them to riders needing a vehicle.
This year’s event was a great success and brought out a record number of 30 riders for the 30 mile ride. Riders gathered at the High Banks Firehouse from 7:30 a.m. for registration and promptly at 8.30 a.m. the firehouse siren sounded and the riders were off. Firstly onto Pine Beach Road then onto the Ernest Dean Highway and south towards the finish line at Sandy Point.
Along the route at the 10 mile and 20 mile stops and also at the finish line were cheerleaders who handed out drinks. A qualified nurse drove behind the last rider to lend aid in case of emergencies, of which, fortunately, there were none.
The only misfortune was to one of the bikes when a pedal fell off and was unable to be repaired due to worn treads.
The three most accomplished riders Evan Roark, Troy Simms and Chris Pinder arrived at the finish line in 1 hour 35 minutes, which was in just half the time expected that the last rider would need to finish. Each rider went as far as he/ she was able and each time they reached a checkpoint they were given a string of beads so that those who went all the way sported three rows of beads.
When the ride was completed riders and bikes were transported by truckload back from Sandy Point to the Firehouse in Bahama Palm Shores where riders, friends and supporters enjoyed a delicious catered lunch.
Following the lunch a short awards ceremony was held. Each rider was presented with a certificate of participation and gift bag donated by Scotia Bank.
Special awards were presented to the following participants: nine-year-old Aidan Miller, youngest rider; Mary Chamie, “most mature” female rider; David Mulock, “most mature” male rider and Melanie Reese who raised the highest amount of funds through sponsorship.
Aidan Miller, youngest rider, who was riding in the bikeathon for the first time admitted that he was both a little nervous as well is excited at the start of the event. His father, Ricardo Miller, has participated each of the three years and was the role model for his son who was determined to participate this year. Aidan was not able to go the full course but made an excellent effort and is determined to go further next year.
David Mulock, “most mature” male, had pledged to ride only 2 miles of the course but amazingly completed all 30 miles at the end of which he said that he ached in every possible part of his body but was in good spirits.
The organizers are very pleased with this year’s result and state that there is already excitement building for next year’s event. The three “Pro Riders”, Troy Sims, Chris Pinder and Evan Roark, who participate in triathlons and marathons abroad are already mentally preparing themselves to beat this year’s time of 1 hour 35 minutes and set a new personal record next year.
Fire Chief, Bruce Smith, expressed his thanks to all the riders, backup team and everyone who participated in this very enjoyable and financially successful event.