Up and down the mountains, across the bridges and past the lakes and rivers of West Virginia, 20 cyclists will pedal in the seventh annual “Outspoken for 4-H” bike ride.
The fundraising bicycle ride across the state kicks off at 8 a.m. on June 17 at Virginia Point Park in Kenova. The riders will travel 250 miles to arrive at their destination, West Virginia University Jackson’s Mill State 4-H Camp, on June 20.
The riders’ route will lead to many different places throughout the state.
Thursday, June 17
Riders travel 95 miles from Kenova through Huntington, Cabell County 4-H Camp and North Charleston to reach Camp Virgil Tate.
Friday, June 18
The cyclists make a 75-mile trip through Sissonville and Ripley to the Wood County 4-H Camp, near Parkersburg.
Saturday, June 19
Riders complete a 60-mile ride through Elizabeth and then from Grantsville to Glenville for the W. Va. State Folk Festival.
Sunday, June 20
The cyclists reach WVU Jackson’s Mill after a 33-mile ride from Glenville to Weston.
WVU Extension agents will join with 4-H volunteer leaders and members to help the riders along the way by organizing pit stops and assisting with food and lodging. The riders will also be accompanied by a crew of bike technicians, medical personnel and other volunteers.
When the riders reach Jackson’s Mill at the end of “Outspoken for 4-H,” they will be welcomed by the campers attending 4-H Older Member’s Conference. The campers will line the streets to cheer them on as they make their way into the camp.
Beth Kleckner, a new rider and former 4-H member, said she had been missing her involvement in 4-H.
“With my other commitments, I’ve been away from 4-H for awhile,” she said. “This is a positive way to reconnect with 4-H.”
Each rider is encouraged to raise $500. Last year, the group raised $10,000 – which they hope to exceed this year.
The annual bike ride rallies 4-H supporters, alumni and members to make tax-deductible donations to the 4-H Youth Development Program, a WVU Extension Service organization that touches the lives of almost 60,000 West Virginia youths each year.
The money raised will benefit the 4-H program. The main push for the money this year is for scholarships to help send youth to the state 4-H camps. The camps provide members of a younger generation the opportunity to make lifelong friends, educate themselves about different cultures and nations and have the chance to express themselves.
Supporters of 4-H can make tax-deductible donations. Pledge forms can be found at the “Outspoken for 4-H” website, http://outspokenfor4h.ext.wvu.edu/.
Riders gain more from the experience other than the chance to connect with through 4-H, James Grantham, “Outspoken for 4-H” coordinator, said.
“This event not only challenges members to give back to a group who has given so much to them, but it helps them to overcome challenges and reach amazing goals,” he said. “It has also lead riders to develop healthy new lifestyles.”
To follow the riders on their journey, the route is available at http://outspokenfor4h.ext.wvu.edu/the_route.
For more information about “Outspoken for 4-H, contact Grantham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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WVU Extension Communications