Mob Bikes to the Light for Great Fun and a Great Cause
by JOY CRIST
Saturday morning, Oct. 2, a strange assembly descended on the grounds
of Cape Hatteras Secondary School. It included a gang of cavemen, ferry
worker zombies, a cheerleader with a goatee, several vegetables, a
whoopee cushion and at least one member of the Village People.
This odd mob, quite visible from N.C. Highway 12, caused drivers to
slow down, stick their heads out windows and wonder what on earth was
going on. Later, more unsuspecting drivers would be confounded as the
entire mob took to the streets on bicycles because clearly, the only
thing better than a random collection of over 150 people in
costumes is a random collection of 150 people in costumes on
So what was going on? Had a large percentage of the local population
The answer is yes, most definitely, but for a really good cause.
This past Saturday marked the second annual “Bike to the Light,” and
the crazy procession on wheels was actually a group of local Kiwanis
volunteers and supporters raising money for the Kiwanis Scholarship
fund while having a good, strange time.
The inventors were Joe Thompson of Spa Koru, and Drew Scalia of
Hatteras Island Boardsports, (or on this particular day, the “Two Peas
in a Pod,” clearly evident by their green coveralls and pea-shaped
bicycle-built-for-two), who leant the idea to Bob Keiper,
then-president of the Hatteras Island Kiwanis.
“We were looking for a fund raiser that included the community and was
an all-around good time for kids and adults -- the whole family,” says
What they got was the annual “Bike to the Light.” Based more on costume
originality than actual cycling ability, the contest, which requires a
$5 registration fee that goes directly to the scholarship fund,
encourages everyone to dress up in the oddest and most original
costumes they can come up with. Then everyone hops on board a bicycle,
and cycles down to the lighthouse and back, where an awards ceremony
“I thought it would be fun to have a fund raiser that was zany,” says
Thompson, (a.k.a. pea 1) “We needed more zany events around here.”
“And I wanted to invent a contest I could win,” added Scalia, (a.k.a.
And if the 150 costumed people who gathered on the school lawn is any
indication, Bike to the Light is indeed a hit.
Clusters of individuals, volunteers and groups chatted and enjoyed
fresh coffee and breakfast from Pam Rack at Island Perks while waiting
for the bicycle ride to start. Harried volunteers manned the
registration table, giving a number, an event T-Shirt and an Outer
Beaches tote bag to each participant.
One group, the “Pamlico Pirates,” came all the way from the Eastern
Shore to participate in the event after noticing it from the sidelines
last year. This time, they took a more active role in Bike to the
Light, and the entire group dressed up in pirate costumes, even the
canine members of the family.
A half dozen volunteers from Outer Beaches Realty also attended,
dressed up as cavemen, with 3-year-old Gracie Fuller, the youngest
Outer Beaches volunteer, riding along in a dinosaur costume.
Once everyone had fueled up on coffee, and bicycles had arrived for
anyone who needed one courtesy of Ocean Atlantic Rentals, the ride
began with a quick circle around the three judges, Dottie Reed, Heidi
Blackwood and Candy Quidley, who thoroughly inspected every costume.
“We have some set categories, like zaniest and best team costume, but
we’re also ad libbing a little bit,” explained Reed.
Then the procession began along Buxton Back Road, and traffic was
stopped momentarily so the riders could scoot across N.C. Highway 12,
much to the confusion of everyone on the road.
The ride took about an hour to the lighthouse and back, and when they
returned, they had hot pizza from Toppers and fresh sandwiches and
salads from the Frisco Sandwich Company waiting for them. Then everyone
took a break on the lawn, while the winners were announced to loud
The prizes were great ones, ranging from hang gliding lessons at Kitty
Hawk Kites, to Hatteras Island Boardsports gift certificates, to Spa
Koru memberships, and were very well received by all the winners,
particularly Scalia (pea 2), who celebrated his co-victory for zany
team by jumping up and down and throwing water into the crowd, in true
Several new categories were even established in honor of some of the
more creative costumes, including the Silliest Costume which went to
the goateed cheerleader, Tracy Morris. “When we saw Tracy, we had to
invent the Silliest Costume award,” said Reed. Morris accepted his
award with pom-poms blazing.
At the end of the day, despite any sore calves or slightly
uncomfortable costumes, everyone involved agreed that the fund-raising
event was a tremendous success and a good laugh, with a bigger
following and better weather than the previous year.
“I think this was a great turnout, and definitely a success,”
said Richard Kenner, a Kiwanis volunteer, “and best of all, you can
tell the kids really enjoyed it.”
Because of the over 150 participants, hundreds of dollars raised for
the scholarship fund and the community-wide support, (not to mention
the basic thrill of riding down the road in a whacky costume for no
apparent reason), the Bike to the Light shows no signs of slowing down
for next year.
So to all you unsuspecting Saturday drivers along Highway 12, consider
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Diana DeBrody – Witch getup
Liz Stokes –
Costume: Tracy Morris – Cheerleader
Zahfar Christ – pixie wings, caveman gear, and a whole lot of other
silly costume pieces mashed together
Ames – pink flamingo everything
Joe Thompson and Drew Scalia – Two peas in a pod
– A very gory costume
Costume that made us smile:
Christ – Pixie
Gracie Fuller – Cavewoman and dinosaur
Deborah Colaizzi and Marcia Paccioretti – the Pamlico Pirates
experienced but Young at Heart award: Walt Fulcher and Lehman Williams
A number of
non-Kiwanis volunteers were also honored during the awards for their
contribution to the event.