Pedaling for a Purpose; Osakis friends to bike 468 miles
Six friends from Osakis will be going on a bike ride in a couple of weeks.
Not just any bike ride. This one will last six days, cover about 468 miles and cut through the entire state of Iowa.
It's all for a good cause — Ivy's Legacy Foundation, a Sauk Centre-based nonprofit that provides comfort and support to infants and families in need.
The Osakis friends came up with a catchy name for their team: "Pedaling for a Purpose." Members are team leader Adam Saltmarsh, and Cody DeWenter, Shane Massmann, Dacotah Stanek, Kasondra Collins and Kenzie Schmiesing.
Saltmarsh, Schmiesing's uncle, owns Log Cabin Pizza in Osakis, where Massmann, DeWenter and Stanek work. Three from the team — Massmann, Collins and Stanek — also ran in high school cross country together.
Their challenge is called "RAGBRAI" — the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, the longest, largest and oldest recreational bicycle touring event in the world. The ride, which began in 1973, became so popular that the number of riders is now limited to 8,500. It will take place July 21-27.
Saltmarsh has done the race before but it will be the first time for the other Pedaling for a Purpose members, who range in age from 19 to 22.
The team is looking forward to the ride.
"We've gone on bike rides together and a few of us have trained for it — some of us have trained a lot," said Stanek.
The hardest part of the ride, Stanek said, may be Mother Nature.
"It's at the end of July so it could be hot or rainy — you never know what the weather will be," Stanek said. "You've got to just keep going."
Fortunately, the ride's pace will be fairly leisurely, according to Stanek. Each day, they'll stop in a few towns for short breaks and at the end of the day, a town will host the team overnight.
They'll also have a good cause to keep them pedaling. Saltmarsh knows Nicki Vogt, who is a founding member of Ivy's Legacy Foundation. Team Ivy Rose formed in 2009 after Nicki and Aaron Vogt's daughter, Ivy Rose, was stillborn at almost 33 weeks gestation.
At first, Team Ivy Rose raised money for the March of Dimes, and eventually the team decided to expand its reach while also helping families on a local level. They formed the nonprofit, Ivy's Legacy Foundation, and pregnant women and babies remain at the heart of its mission.
Pedaling for a Purpose hopes to raise $15,000 for the foundation.
"It's a pretty big goal we set out there," Stanek admitted. "I'm not sure we can make it but we really want to raise money and increase awareness about the foundation.
The team is nearing the halfway point, raising about $6,000 and there's still time left for donations to come in.
Those who donate can have their names placed on the team's traveling banner. Those who give more than $500 can have their logo placed on the back of the team's biking jersey.
Donors can write a check out to Ivy's Legacy Foundation and send it to Adam Saltmarsh, Team Lead, 11287 Cable Drive, Osakis, MN 56360. Donors can also visit the GoFundMe page on Facebook, "Pedaling for a Purpose."
The team is also accepting items for a silent auction.
For more information about the foundation, go to the website, www.ivyslegacyfoundation.org.