October 29, 2013

Fifth annual Bike the Light has
a pirate theme…WITH SLIDE SHOW


As folks set out to enjoy the crisp fall weather on Saturday morning, Oct. 26, they may have been surprised to see a large gang of pirates biking toward the lighthouse in Buxton.

Despite their appearance, the riders were not hunting for treasure, but were participating in the fifth annual Bike the Light event, which benefits the Kiwanis Club of Hatteras Island.

The proceeds from the event, which totaled $3,000, benefits the club’s scholarship fund, which awards $6,000 to high school students who are involved in community service and maintain good grades.

At 10 a.m., around 50 folks set off from the Cape Hatteras Secondary School as they began the 8K bike ride to the lighthouse and back.  Upon returning to the school, the riders enjoyed pizza, donated by Angelo’s in Buxton, and sandwiches, provided by Frisco Sandwich Co.

Riders were encouraged to don their best costumes for the event and, this year, the Kiwanis Club chose a pirate theme to complement the Pirate Jamboree that occurred on Ocracoke.  Those with the wackiest and most creative costumes were awarded prizes after the bike ride.

And the riders did not disappoint.  The Sports Pirates team chose to wear headscarves and gold chains and even attached fake skulls and parrots to their bikes, while the Radcliffe girls took a more feminine approach by wearing tutus. 

Diana Debrody completed her authentic pirate costume with an eye patch and a hand-drawn beard. 

Joshua Christ of Buxton stood out from the crowd in his blue overalls while his son rode inside a blue innertube. 

“I was trying to be blue, like water, because we’re just floating through life,” explained Christ.

The costume winners received a variety of different prizes, which had all been donated and included a bracelet from Izabelle’s Closet, gift certificates from Hatterasman, Hatteras Parasailing, Dirty Dick’s Crabhouse, a gift certificate for gas at Ballance Oil, an Oden’s Dock visor, Outer Banks books, T-shirts, and several smaller items from Beach Pharmacy. 

Essentially, everyone who participated left with a prize, whether it was from the costume contest, in the tote bag that came with the $5 entry fee, or merely a sense of accomplishment.

Though the bike ride was not a race, Erskine Fulcher of Buxton, was thrilled to be the first to finish in only 41 minutes.

“It was easier going than it was coming back,” said Fulcher as he caught his breath. 

But, the wind did not damper the experience for the riders, which was apparent by the smiles being flashed as folks parked their bikes. 

Heidi Blackwood, president of the Kiwanis Club, felt that the event went well overall and was touched by the outpouring of community support expressed through both donations and participation.  

“The community donations to us were unbelievable,” said Blackwood. 

Though the turnout decreased slightly this year, Blackwood did not feel that it was indicative of support, but rather was a timing snafu.

“Normally we have more middle school and high school students participate, but it was Homecoming this weekend, and the little kids enjoy this just as much,” said Blackwood, motioning toward the kids still riding around the school parking lot. 

The event was a big hit with the participants, and they are looking forward to next year’s event.

“I do it every year, and I always have a good time,” said Debrody. 

The Kiwanis Club has a strong presence within the local schools. The group meets weekly in the high school and also run programs at the elementary school.  The members encourage community service, community involvement, and anti-bullying efforts within the schools.  Blackwood hopes to increase the range and level of involvement in the future so that Kiwanis Club can touch more lives in a positive light.

Anyone interested in joining the club can e-mail Blackwood at [email protected].

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