On most Sunday mornings, I look forward to church, drinking lots of coffee, reading the paper, and relaxing. But on June 14th, I’m looking forward to wearing my legs out, sweating profusely, and smiling the whole time. Admittedly, you have to be a little crazy to want to bike 20 miles at 7am on a Sunday. But judging by the hundreds of people swarming into the riverfront at Calhoun for TREK XVIII, there are lots of other crazies out there too!
Last year was my first TREK and I absolutely loved it. One of my favorite things about TREK is the people. You see all types: from walkers to marathoners, serious cyclers to casual cruisers, youngsters to retirees, entire families and teams with coordinated shirts, a few costumes here and there, and even local “celebrities” like WBKR’s Chad Benefield (emcee), Sherriff Keith Cain, and the Hayden racing family. (Speaking of the Hayden’s: for the record I totally beat Tommy. Which, if I’m being honest, may or may not have had anything to do with the fact that he was pulling his kids behind him in a bike trailer. Regardless, I’m still claiming it as a victory because on that particular Sunday I was way faster than Tommy Hayden. Roger, on the other hand, passed me like a rocket at mile 2.)
The ride itself was my favorite thing, though. The route from Calhoun to West Louisville is absolutely beautiful. Oh, there are plenty of hills! But there are also lots of valleys, fields, and pretty landscapes on either side. It’s totally acceptable for people to run, walk, or ride as little of the route as they wish, and a shuttle patrols the route to take folks to the finish when they’ve finished their TREK. My riding partner and I elected to take the full 20 mile route past Diamond Lakes and Mount St. Joseph to get the full experience. I’m glad we did.
The celebration at the end of the ride, which is hosted at David and Jean Yewell’s house in West Louisville, feels like a family reunion. As participants straggle in, they help themselves to grilled Hamburgers provided by Ritzy’s and Gatorade and soft drinks provided by Pepsi. (It might have only been 10am, but after riding that far, trust me, I was ready for a burger!) People take their time, enjoy each other’s company, and welcome the other finishers.
David Yewell, by the way, is the founder of the feast. He’s the one who dreamed up the idea of hosting the TREK as a fundraiser for St. Joseph’s Peace Mission, which is definitely a worthy cause and the real underlying reason that so many TREKers come back year after year. This year’s crowd is expected to be around 300 participants, which could raise over $7,500 with a suggested donation of $25.
Paula Yevincy, Director of St. Joseph’s Peace Mission, said, “The TREK is our biggest fundraiser of the year. We could not do what we do without TREK.” Yevincy says each year is special in its own way. This year, the shirts are orange and blue in memory of Taylor Widmer.
To learn more about St. Joseph’s Peace Mission or to register for TREK XVIII, click here.