Over the hills, through the woods and down 250 country-road miles they will pedal for West Virginia Universitys 4-H efforts across the state.
Five determined bicyclists will grip their handlebars and bear down on their pedals as they take to the road forOut Spoken for West Virginia 4-HThursday, June 16, to earn donations for WVU Jacksons Mill State 4-H Camp.
The quintet will pedal through 11 counties in four days for the fundraising jaunt that begins at the WVU Extension Office in Kearneysville, Jefferson County, and wraps up Sunday, June 19 at WVU Jacksons Mill, near Weston in Lewis County.
The cyclists will set off at 7:30 a.m. Thursday.
Last years inaugural ride rolled in $20,000 in donations, making it a success that just had to continue, its organizers say. The ride gives people an opportunity to make tax-deductible contributions to benefit the state 4-H facility or activity of their choice.
Coordinator of the event is Jeff Yokum, a Grant County native and 4-H All Star (the organizations highest award for service), who works as a U.S. Secret Service officer at the White House in Washington, D.C.
Yokum came up with the idea forOut Spoken for West Virginia 4-Hwhile participating in the Older 4-H Members Conference at Jacksons Mill in 2003.
Along with Yokum, this years riders are: Bob Galardi, director of WVU Extension Development; Nathan Sisler, a Hardy County 4-H alumnus; Kay Toben, a Monongalia County 4-H alumna; and John Reisenweber, a member of the Washington staff of U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.
Cindy Woodbury, a Wetzel County 4-H alumna, will be among the numerous short-term riders expected to join the five at various places along the road.
The riders will be accompanied by a medical crew, a bike technician, a snack and drink provider and a crew van.
On Thursday the cyclists will be called to log 55 miles, while maintaining an average speed of 14 miles per hour.
That distance nearly doubles on the second day requirement of 102 miles. West Virginias mountains come in the play on the third day: the riders will be required to pedal 50 miles at an average of 8 miles an hour, given the terrain.
An easier 50-mile ride brings it all home Sunday at WVU Jacksons Mill.
The riders will roll through Jefferson, Berkley and Morgan counties on Thursday. Hampshire, Hardy and Grant counties are on Fridays itinerary, followed by Pendleton and Randolph on Saturday. The group bikes the final stretch through Barbour, Upshur and Lewis counties on Sunday.
Look for mini-celebrations along the route, with well-wishers offering donations,
plus food and lodging for the cyclists, an effort organized by Extension agents across the state.
Donations will be accepted through June 30. Checks may be made payable to WVU Foundation Inc., and mailed to: Bob Galardi, 806 Knapp Hall WVU , P.O. Box 6031, Morgantown WV 26506 .
WVU s Extension Service organizes the 4-H Youth Development Program in all
55 West Virginia counties. Reaching 56,000 young people, 4-H provides educational programs through clubs, individual projects, camps, after-school programs and special interest groups.
For more information and a donation form, visithttp://www.wvu.edu/~exten/.