Rip Roarin’ fun at Lions Club annual bike ride

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By Rebecca Canfield

Since 1917, the Lions Club has been striving to improve their communities. Here in Liberty Hill, the Lions Club has been active since the late 1980’s.

Oct. 1st marks the date of the Lions Club’s Annual Rip Roarin’ Ride, an event that attracts cyclists from all over Texas.

As usual, 100 percent of the proceeds from the race are used to support Lions Club programs. Some of these programs include the Texas Lions Club Camp at Kerrville, and the Lone Star Eye Bank of Central Texas. Additionally, funds go toward college scholarships for local students and also help support various community betterment projects. Additionally, the Lions Club supports disaster relief efforts.

“It’s not just individual organizations, we also have individuals within the community that Liberty Hill Outreach will screen for us and make sure the need is there, and then we will go out and help them,” said event chairman Ed Landry.

The ride, which begins at Liberty Hill Elementary School on Loop 332, will offer routes of 14, 28, 50, 65, and 79 miles throughout western Williamson and eastern Burnet counties.

The event, which began in 2002, may have anywhere from 100 to 600 riders. The ride begins at 8 a.m. Oct. 1, and the course will be open until 2 p.m. The cost for registrants is $35 if funds are received on or before Sept. 28, but participants can register up to the day of the event with a registration fee of $40. Participants will also receive an event T-shirt.

The event will have a five-person SAG team (support and gear) and MSETs (motorcycle special events teams) on hand to keep cyclists safe during their rides, so that cyclists can enjoy a rural country ride. There will also be signs and flags to let drivers know to stay clear of the cyclists.

“They will start the ride and then drive around the route to make sure everything is okay out there,” said Landry. “You’ve got two police offers, two MSETS and five SAGs, so they are pretty safe out there.”

Landry also pointed out that the event is great not only because it is a fun ride and beautiful scenery, but also because of what the ride does for the community as a whole.

“The money raised for the community, everything we raise, 100 percent of it goes back into the community,” said Landry. “It goes toward scholarships, it helps out Liberty Hill Outreach and the food bank. Every dime that we make is earmarked toward the Liberty Hill community.”

Landry said that the event is well planned, and organizers try to make it a lot of fun for the participants.

“The route is out in the country. Each one of the rest stops kind of has a theme, so [the volunteers] they’ll do some baked goods, they try to have music to the theme that they do, and they dress to go with their theme,” said Landry. “It’s not a race, it’s a run, so they can take their time and really enjoy it.”

Landry also stated that the event is not only for professional cyclists. The ride is for cyclists of all levels. Furthermore, he said that there are still plenty of opportunities to support the Lions Club for individuals who maybe aren’t cyclists, but who just want to help their community and donate. Sponsorship opportunities are still available, but individuals can also either send money to the Lions Club, or come out on the day of the ride, and just donate at the event. Either way, Landry says it’s a great cause, and that all the money raised will help people right here at home who need it.

“If anyone wanted to, they can send donations to the Liberty Hill Lions Club, but there are also places at the register where people can just donate,” Landry said. “It’s a great organization to support.”

Following the race, there will be a small barbecue, with barbecue sandwiches, chips and sodas for the riders to reenergize after they are done, fellowship, and just have a good time.

“We have bike racers from Austin who come, we have people who just like to go out and bike ride with the family. It’s a mixture of everything,” Landry said. “This is why we don’t like doing a race, it’s a fun ride where everybody can participate and know they have a safe route to travel, and just make a day out of it.”

For details on the Rip Roarin’ Ride or to register, visit http://lhlions.org/events.php. Donations can also be sent to the Lions Club through mail at Ed Landry, Lions Club, 4407 E Hwy 29, Bertram TX 78605. Please write Lions Club in the memo line.

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