Info and photo source Micah Bader, Albert Lea Tribune
Cold, wet conditions didn’t stop participants of the Freeborn County Bike-A-Thon earlier this month. An annual bike ride to raise money for cancer research this year’s event was held on May 3rd. According to Bike-A-Thon organizer LeAnn Juveland, “there were 54 riders, many from Albert Lea with a few from out of town that come back each year for this event.
Team Navarro, a five-man group had members from three states: Minnesota, Iowa and Colorado participate. “The Navarro family has been directly affected by cancer, as Robert Navarro died of kidney cancer. Dave Navarro, Rich Navarro, Brian McDonald, Scott Norman and Ramon Navarro rode to honor Robert,” Dave Navarro, stated.
With the weather this year, many participants shortened their route instead of completing the 100-mile course with rest stops in Alden, Glenville, Gordonsville, Myrtle, Hayward, Geneva, Hartland, Freeborn, Conger and Albert Lea. Food, including bananas, oranges, water, granola bars and hot dogs was available at the rest stops . Refreshments were provided by generous area businesses donations, said Jody Dreyling, a volunteer with the ride.
With the highest temp for the day was 42 and the low at 33 degrees a common route was a ride to Glenville and back or a ride to Glenville with a lift back in a pickup. “There were quite a few people who came but chose not to ride,” Juveland said. “One of them was from Washington D.C., and they had ridden other years, but chose not to ride this year, because conditions were horrendous.”
Juveland has been organizing the event for 11 years. “The money raised, several thousand dollars this year will be presented to the American Cancer Society,” she said. “David Anderson of Albert Lea alone raised $2,100.”
As the weather warms up, there is no better way to enjoy the beauty of the countryside here, around the Albert Lea area, than on a summer bike ride. Click here for an At-A Glance look at biking in this area.