October 15, 2012
More than 60 costumed riders
turned out for Bike the Light…WITH SLIDE SHOW
By JOY CRIST
year, another gang of zombie doctors, jellyfish, and pirates taking a
leisurely bike ride to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
Oct. 13, marked the fourth edition of “Bike the Light,” an annual
fundraising event that encourages participants to dress as strangely as
possible. In this yearly fall bike trip that takes riders from Cape
Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies to the lighthouse and
back, finishing first might not win you a prize, but dressing like a
zombie surgeon with assorted bloody body parts attached to your ride
very well might.
Hurricane Irene put a mild damper on the
festivities last year, postponing the event to a later fall date. But
this year, the event was back in full force with more than 60 riders
and loads of generous donations from amazing prizes to post-ride grub
from businesses all over the island.
Heidi Blackwood, president of the Kiwanis Club, was delighted with the donations and gifts that came pouring in.
were giving us donations, gift certificates, prizes – we really got a
big response from the community,” she said. “Without the community, I
don’t know how we could do it.”
Ocean Atlantic Rentals once again
provided bicycles for folks who didn’t have one handy, and this year
the Kiwanis Club added a “costume box,” stuffed with tiaras, pirate
hats, boas, and gladiator helmets, for participants who wanted to get
dolled up but didn’t have a costume.
Participants began arriving
around 9 a.m. for the ride and congregated in the school’s parking lot.
From the start, there were a couple riders who stood out from the
crowd, a notable feat in a group like this.
Betsy Gwin arrived
wearing light blue and a gigantic jellyfish bubble top on her head,
with bubble wrap tentacles drooping down her shoulders. Constructed,
fittingly, completely out of bubble wrap, she had seen the idea online
and then tweaked it with the materials she had lying around the house.
“This is why you should never throw anything away,” she said.
Debrody, the aforementioned zombie doctor, had worked with a bloody
surgeon’s costume she had from last year and made a shopping trip to
Dollar Tree for various eyeballs, ears, hands, bloody gauze, and other
appendages she could fasten to her bike. “It took about four hours to
glue all the body parts on there,” she said, “and I’m amazed none of
them have fallen off.”
Loula Mangold of Hatteras was the event’s
first motor scooter rider and showed up with a rainbow Afro and a
scooter covered with stuffed animals, toys, a rubber chicken, and other
pieces of flair. “I’m just a clown,” she said. “I moved here from
Pennsylvania, and I would always ride in the parades there, and this
sounded like fun.”
A little after 10 a.m., the riders started their
annual rubber-necking inducing ride down Buxton Back Road, while Heidi
and the five other Kiwanis club members and volunteers stuffed gift
bags for every participant, and started the debate on who was going to
be this year’s winners.
“There are only six of us this year, but I think we have everything fairly well organized,” she said.
Sandwich Company provided free sandwiches for the riders and pizza was
brought in from Nino’s, while the Kiwanis Club made careful
deliberations on who was going to win. The prizes for this year’s event
were fantastic and included a Spa Koru pedicure and three-month
membership, a hang gliding lesson from Kitty Hawk Kites, toys from the
Toy Store, a $100 gift certificate to Dirty Dick’s, and gift
certificates from Rocco’s, Rusty’s, Captain Rolo's, The Fish House,
Oceana’s, Sonny’s, The Hatterasman, and many more.
An hour later, the riders returned and dove into the sandwiches and pizza while awaiting the results.
Commissioner Warren Judge also stopped by to don a Bike the Light
T-shirt, chat with attendees, and applaud the winners. “This is
wonderful,” he said. “The weather is beautiful, and this is just great
for the children – to have fun on a pretty day while raising some
After a few minutes, Heidi Blackwood announced the Bike
to the Light winners. There were four kids’ prizes, a group prize, two
adult prizes, and a special award that was invented to honor one of the
In the kids’ category, two pirate girls, Lily and Chloe,
took home the honors, as well as rock star Maleia, who was happy to
score the pedicure, and scary jester Ashton.
The Edwards family, a handsome collection of Wonder Woman, a wolf, and Kitty Soft Paws won the best group award.
Betsy and Diana, the jellyfish and the zombie doctor, won the two adult
prizes. Diana was elated with the free hang-gliding lesson, while Betsy
was thrilled with her Spa Koru membership and big collection of
restaurant gift certificates.
“You can use those after you go to the spa to work out,” said Heidi.
The special award went to Loula Mangold, who at 82-years-old, was the oldest rider in Bike the Light.
left empty handed. T-shirts and gift bags and with stickers, coupons,
and other prizes tucked in them were passed out to all riders.
the prizes were distributed, all the tired pirates, zombies, and rock
stars, happy and full of sandwiches and pizza, started to head home,
and another successful Bike the Light was on the books.
Blackwood, packing up the T-shirts and sign-up sheets, was pleased with
how the event went and incredibly delighted with the community
“Everyone was so generous, it was amazing,” she said.
“I am so grateful to the community and everyone who helped make this
year’s Bike the Light happen.”
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