Kiwanis 'Bike Around Mayfield' Successful
By Paul Schaumburg, Graves County Schools
MAYFIELD, KY - The Mayfield Kiwanis Club held their fifth annual charity bicycle tour on July 4th. The event, called “BAM!” for “Bike Around Mayfield,” attracted riders from throughout the four-state region. The event drew triple the riders compared with last year’s ride.
BAM! featured four routes around Graves and Calloway counties; a 15-mile, 30-mile, 60-mile route and a true 100-mile or “century” route to Calloway County, then to Camp Beauregard and Bayou de Chien south of Mayfield, then back to the city. The club hopes to make BAM! one of the preeminent events of its kind in the region, eventually attracting 1200-1500 riders.
BAM! coincides with Mayfield’s Glory Days Festival, and also takes place during the opening week of the famed Tour de France bike race. Kiwanis member Sonny McMannus was emcee for event. Mayor Teresa Cantrell addressed the crowd and Dr. Randel Gibson, also a club member, gave a brief lecture on warning signs for excessive heat exposure and tips on avoiding dehydration. The group was led off by Randie Baldree, ride captain for the Patriot Guard motorcycle team, and was escorted by Mayfield police to the Golo Road turnoff.
The event's first ever century ride attracted a small group of strong riders who braved the heat to complete all 100 miles by early afternoon. The Perrys, a father and son team from Jackson, Tennessee, rode their first century at the event. The son is leaving soon for a year of study abroad and wanted to share this achievement with his father before leaving.
Most notable among the century riders was a young couple from Louisville who completed the route together. Joseph Kelly is an experienced mountain bike rider. Laura is a schoolteacher who has been training for her first century ride for several months. Despite the heat and riding an hour in the rainstorm that blew through the area, she completed the ride by early afternoon, becoming the only woman to complete the century route.
Proceeds from the event help fund Kiwanis Park, the R. Wayne Morgan Scholarship program for deserving high school students and other youth programs.