MIDDLEBURY — Lingering storm clouds couldn’t dampen the festivities at Northridge High School in Middlebury Saturday morning as approximately 250 cyclists took to the pavement to show their support for the 42nd annual ADEC Ride-A-Bike fundraising event.
“It’s our signature community fundraiser,” said ADEC Communications Manager Nancy Miller of the annual event, which raises funds to support local individuals and families living with disabilities. “It’s a time when we bring together ADEC staff, ADEC clients, all of our friends in the community, and just have a fun day.”
According to Miller, this year’s staging area at Northridge High School was a first for the long-running event, which in the past has typically held its kickoff at Concord High School in Elkhart.
“We were looking for a way to collaborate with some of the other non-profit groups in the area, and the Friends of the Pumpkinvine have done such an amazing job with the Pumpkinvine Trail, we wanted to see if we could link with that,” Miller said, noting that the Northridge location provides the group with near-direct access to the extensive trail system. “So we contacted the Middlebury school system, and Northridge agreed to be our host school. And beyond that, it also answered some needs we had of safety, because we were on open county roads in the past and there were some concerns, whereas the Pumpkinvine Trail is a closed trail which can provide riders with a much safer experience. So it all just kind of fell together very nicely.”
As part of Saturday’s event, participants were able to choose from 30-mile, 18-mile, 10-mile and 5-mile bike routes, as well as 1-mile, 2-mile or 5-mile neighborhood walks for those preferring to show their support on foot.
While not the highest turnout the event has ever drawn, Miller said she is always impressed by the outpouring of generosity she sees from the ADEC community and its supporters — many of whom are multi-year participants.