2016 OK200 Ride Recap Part 2 – West Des Moines to Adel

We started at Valley Church in West Des Moines, Iowa.

We got going a little later than 5 AM after having to mess around with ride radio to get it working.  The last few ride waivers were signed.  Rocky Vest called the ride to order, I offered a morning prayer, and off we went.   Sun was lighting up the sky a little and the temperature was just a little brisk on bear arms.  As we went by a west des moines fire station, i remembered three years ago, riding by the same place in a pouring rain, and one or our first female riders ever, Dee Mable, flatted there, less than a mile into the ride.   McCoy, Vest, and Kunze led the ride out west on Raccoon River Road toward Booneville holding 19 mph.  It was absolutely gorgeous.

from the front

from the front

We crossed the Raccoon River and rode up out of the valley, being careful not to exceed more than 13-14 mph as we ascended, careful to not blow out legs so early in a 200+ mile day.  A quick descent into the town of Van Meter and an abrupt turn up county road R16 right at sunrise.  I can’t remember a better sound and sight than cruising along the river through a scenic valley at sunrise.  Wheels whirring, gears shifting, quiet breathing, the morning sun illuminating the valley. Our group of nearly 60 riders took up nearly 200 ft of road.  We quickly made it over Interstate 80 and followed the North Raccoon River valley passing the puckerbrush road.  Once we made it out of the river valley we went by my child hood home and stomping grounds.  We saw jeff colwell and my parents offering encouragement.

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It turned out that road R16 was going to be reconstructed on Monday the 27th, and the crews had done a little pre-construction work on the concrete.  Some of the lateral cracks and potholes were severe.  We did our best by calling out the cracks and potholes but still sustained 3 or 4 flat tires in the 3 mile stretch of road.  Luckily we had a Bike World van and technician to change flat tires.  In past years, Pete Basso did most of the tire changing, but it was incredible to have a van full of equipment plus a bike mechanic along for the ride.  As we made it to and crossed Hwy 6, we waited for awhile in Ortonville to allow the folks with flats to catch up and then cruised on toward Adel and the first stop.  We spent some time on the Raccoon River Valley Trail.  The runners had been hassled last year not having passes, so this year we got an event permit plus a day pass for everyone who rode the ride #official.  The crew was led by McCoy and Kunze into Adel.

We took the first right turn onto the historic brick streets, hit Rapids street, took a left and proceeded across Nile Kinnick Drive (HWY 169) where we made our first stop, hosted by the First Christian Church of Adel.  The Hall family (Scott and Kristy) and Pastor Dour Pfeiffer made sure that all the facilities were in working order (it turned out that the water had been shut off the night before, and if not for some quick acting by the Hall’s could have turned into a bio-disaster at the first stop) and the 20-some miles in, we had our first stop .  Everyone was feeling great.

OK 200 Thank You Cards

Pick up your free Okoboji 200 Thank you cards at The Permanent Collection, 520 e. 6th, 50309 (between the DSM Bike Collective and Alba on East 6th) in the Des Moines East Village.  OK 200 Thank You CardsAsk for the OK200 thank you cards.  They are flat, 4.25 inches x 5.5 inches, blank on the back, come in white or army green, and come with an envelope.  In today’s age of digital overload, a handwritten note of appreciation to a donor, volunteer, rider, runner, or sponsor speaks volumes.  All you have to do is pick them up and then send them out.

As a general Des Moines East Village PSA – If you are worried about parking: a) ride your bike, b) find street parking, c) park in the free State of Iowa Parking garage located at Des Moines and Penn Ave, d) park near a Des Moines B-Cycle station and ride, or e) Park in downtown and take the free D-Line bus that circuits downtown.

OK 200 Thank You Cards

2016 OK200 Ride Recap Part 1 – 4AM Wake-Up

By Andy McCoy (I’ll recap several segments of the ride in the next few weeks)

I was stuck in traffic at 5 PM in downtown Des Moines, I was supposed to be at the Valley Community Center, helping to run a support driver organization meeting and distribute paper maps of the route.  Grand Avenue was closed and Art festival traffic clogged all of downtown so I didn’t get to the pre-ride dinner until 6 PM.  I briefed drivers on an individual basis during dinner.

After the pre-ride dinner my wife, Sarah, and I, and our daughters, Gemma and Charlotte, returned home and I packed up my clothes for the weekend plus a bag of necessities for the ride.  I brought an extra kit and socks in case of inclement weather or an unexpected soiling.  Soiling could result from a lot of different circumstances on a day-long ride in June.  In the past, I have been hailed on, rained on, sprayed with wet roadkill detritus, melted candy bars in my jersey, I have been boiling, sunburnt, shivering, concussed, scraped, bruised, bleeding, and I have had violent intestinal pressure.

2011 OK 200 Scranton

2011 OK 200 Scranton

In my ride bag i packed chocolate chip Clif bars, Advil, A+D diaper ointment (Most people use some type of chamois cream purchased at a bike shop – but I like the smell of A+D, and if its good enough to treat a baby’s diaper rash, its good enough to help me get through a day of chafing on a bike), and tire changing supplies.

I haven’t ever slept well before this event, so I don’t even try to go to bed early anymore.  I had a glass of red wine and finished up some things for work and went to bed at 11 PM.  I woke up every hour between 11 PM and 4 AM.

This was the 6th OK200 that I have ridden.  The first was in 2011 and it was just a few friends that thought it would be fun to attempt a 200 mile bike ride to my family cottage in Arnold’s Park, Iowa, located on Lake Minnewashta.  It looked a lot different than the 2016 version.  Here is a stop in 2011 at Scranton, Iowa.

After that long painful day, a group of us thought that a crazy 200-mile bike ride would be the perfect platform to use to raise awareness and funds for survivors of human trafficking, and we decided to do it again the next year.

At 4AM, when I woke up, I quickly realized that I got up 30 minutes later than i should have, knowing that I needed to pick up two riders, I should have been up at 3:30 AM.  I didn’t have time for a great breakfast (eggs/yogurt/banana/toast) so i had a glass of juice, a cup of coffee, and some biscuits.  In the quiet of the house i thought about that fact that we wouldn’t stop riding until possibly 7 PM, nearly 15 hours from the current time, and so I took some Advil to get ahead of the coming pain.

At the Start

At the Start

I thought about the girls that we had met earlier in the year that had been rescued from a brothel in Nepal and were being restored by Lighthouse Nepal.  I thought about the electrocutions that one girl told us she endured in the brothel for not being completely compliant.  I also thought about the 2013 OK200 in which we faced a 30 mph headwind and decided to turn-around at the 100-mile mark (link).  I don’t think I have ever been as tired as the end of that day.  I thought about how lucky I am to have been born into the family that I was born into. I thought about teens that have nowhere else to turn. These are the stories that build unity in our fight and compel us to ride.  It is a simple reaction to evil and a desire to act.

I hustled around the kitchen filling water bottles, starting coffee, packing my bags, then going to back to the water bottles, and drinking more coffee.  Sarah got out of bed to drive me to the starting point, and we picked up Joel Clutts and Joe Spradling along the way.  We arrived at Valley Church at 4:45 AM, excited but apprehensive, firmly committed, and ready to ride.

 

Julie Kirkpatrick’s Creativity and Passion Fuel Donations for the OK200

OK200: Hi, Julie, thanks for agreeing to sit down with me to answer these questions. What you did was fascinating and creative. We love your passion and wanted to share it with others.

First, tell us about yourself and why you got involved with the OK200 this year?

Julie: I am married to Cam Kirkpatrick, and we have a 2.5 year old son named Jonah. Cam is an engineer, and I am a cycling, running, and triathlon coach with Zoom Performance. We are both long-time members of the wonderful, generous Des Moines area cycling community. We have a number of friends who have participated in OK200 in previous years, so we’ve had some exposure to the event. Since the birth of our son, we’ve cut our cycling from hours upon hours of training and racing down to bike commuting to work and Burley rides on the weekends. So, while we won’t be participating in the ride itself, we definitely wanted to be a part of it!

Julie Cam and SonOK200: How did the idea come about?

Julie: The idea for a garage sale came out of necessity more than anything else and just grew from there. We’ve moved three times in the last six years. Once you’ve packed up all your belongings a few times, you start to realize how much excess you have! And, having a growing child means that there are always boxes of recently out-grown clothes, gear, and toys piling up. Many of the things were hand-me-downs from friends; we didn’t feel right selling their stuff and making a profit off from it, so we decided that we would pick a charity to support with the proceeds.

OK200: I can certainly relate, three girls later, we make consistent donations of clothes and toys yearly.

Julie: Human trafficking has been going on forever, but it feels like it is gaining more exposure recently. The more I read about it, the sicker I felt, and the more I prayed about it. I began to realize that every night when I would climb into bed, I was able to shut my eyes and rest peacefully, knowing that I was safe, loved, and not fearful of what would happen to me before I woke up in the morning. There are far too many girls, boys, and young women who can’t imagine what it feels like to rest like that. That’s why we decided to help.

First, I started talking to a few girlfriends about throwing a few things in the sale, and as a few of them joined in. This is when I set a goal of raising $1000 – OK200 had a goal of raising $100,000, and I thought it would be amazing to raise 1% of that. I’ve held garage sales in the past and made $500-800, so I thought that with a little help maybe we could hit $1000. I thought we could handle a few more things, so I cast my net a little wider. I put post on Facebook asking for donations, and I got a few more responses. Now neighbors, other cyclists, and friends were dropping off boxes, bags, and other items that were originally destined for Goodwill or city-wide trash day. The garage was packed to the gills, and I figured we’d probably come pretty close to our goal!

OK200: WOW, one great idea after another. I love this!

Julie: I did a quick pre-sale a couple nights before the actual garage sale and quickly sold almost $200 in just over an hour. By the end of the first day, we had made over $1100! We’d surpassed my goal, and we still had one more day to go – and a lot of good stuff left. By the end of the second day, the total climbed to over $1600 to help victims of human trafficking. There are still some really good items left that I will be trying to sell over the coming weeks, so I expect to see the number grow some more. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude to everyone for their donations, and there is still more good to come from this. Currently, my garage has boxes of sale leftovers marked for donation to the Animal Rescue League, the Des Moines Bike Collective, Central Iowa Shelter and Services, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Hope Ministries Thrift Shop, and more. Everything that was donated will be doing good somewhere in our community.

OK200: Incredible, this one idea has led to over $1600 earmarked for the survivors of sex trafficking and you were also able to contribute to at least 4 other charities? I would call that a highly successful idea.

We can’t thank you enough for your kindness and generosity. Just as we have experienced over the years, our community is so givng and always willing to help out others.

Julie, thank you for your time today. We appreciate your friendship and willingness to share your story with the rest of us.where to buy clomiphene citrate, where to buy clomiphene citrate

OK200 Chick Fil-A Night

 

Chick Fil-A is one classy organization.

For the last 3 years they have allowed the OK200 group to invite our OK200 community to their restaurant in Paradise Pointe, (on Mills Civic), for a night of food, fun and sharing our mission.  They give us a percentage of the receipts we collect from our friends as a donation.  In return, we FLOOD their establishment with red shirts and lots of hungry people.

April 20th was no different, in fact, it was our biggest turn out we’ve had yet.  Talking with the manager, they were slammed from 4:45pm till a little before 8pm.  We were able to advocate our OK200 cause with those whom have not heard of us and promote the issues of human tracking to our local community who, (like us at one time), don’t even know this problem exists right here is Des Moines.   These “spirit nights” promote opportunities to add riders, extra volunteers and to make new friends for the future.  One of the more rewarding aspects of the evening was watching the kids of OK200 having a blast while serving dinner to the patrons.  They refilled drinks, cleaned tables and helped with the “Spin to Win Wheel”.   We are thankful for these little souls and their eagerness to jump in and help.

The night was a success, we ended up collecting enough receipts to amass over $550.00 in donations.  So when you’re out and about and feeling hungry, please consider Chick Fil-A for lunch or dinner.  Their team is amazing and so gracious.  I can’t tell you how accommodating they have been to us over the years.

Here are some photos from that night, enjoy…

2016 Chick_Fil-A 5 2016 Chick_Fil-A 2016 Chick_Fil-A 12 2016 Chick_Fil-A 1 2016 Chick_Fil-A 9 2016 Chick_Fil-A 8 2016 Chick_Fil-A 112016 Chick_Fil-A 14 2016 Chick_Fil-A 7 2016 Chick_Fil-A 15

 

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OK200 Kickoff, So Much To Be Thankful For

Today’s media brings us instant and constant exposure to the rigors this world harbors.  It can be enough to make you want to turn off your TV’s, moderate your social media feeds and just hide.  Everyone seems to have experienced this sensory overload at least once.  However, there’s no better way to battle negativity then by arming yourself with the cloak of Christ and a whole lotta positivity.  It’s a mind shift that doesn’t happen over night, but certainly will help you see the world in a different, more uplifting light.  For me, getting involved in helping others while doing the things I’m passionate about is what adjusts my mind and heart to make that important shift.

Four years ago, a couple of friends of mine asked me if I wanted to ride 200 miles in one day?  Like any insane person, I immediately said, “YES”.  Not knowing much more than that, I was committed, (to at least one ride).  Shortly after I committed I was then told I had to do a little fundraising for a cause that I knew nothing about.  Within a few weeks I was learning more and more about this unbelievable and horrific crime known as “Human Trafficking”.  I was a father of a couple of little girl and one on the way, I was human, I had feelings and I was mortified.  Fear can sometimes be a good motivator, so I allowed fear to drive me to open my heart and mind to learn more.  Before long, I was ALL IN on fighting for this cause.  By the way, back then,  there were just 9 of us and about 4 volunteers.  Now I have 3 beautiful daughters and our group has grown to hundreds of caring people.  What a blessing.

Today, we celebrate a community of people consisting of our closest friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and acquaintances.  All this in just 5 short years.  The outpouring of support has been awe-inspiring and down right humbling.  Witnessing so many people putting others first and dedicating time, money, effort and talents to help others they have not ever met is incredible.  So incredible in fact, that we decided to host an “OK200 Social Event” last Thursday night just to say thank you to everyone who has been a part of our community.  We are appreciative and grateful for the friends who have been with us from the beginning and the new friends we continue to make.

If you missed the social, hopefully you can join us at the next one or for a training ride.  Check our Facebook page for more information and give some love to our incredibly generous sponsors below.

Photos of the Social – April 7th, 2016

GOLD SPONSORS

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SILVER SPONSORS

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BRONZE SPONSORS

bikeworld    DavisBrownLawFirm

 

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