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Local

Bikers enjoy weather at charity ride

(From left) Trish Webster, 47; Glen Webster, 50; Kim Starai, 45; and Jim Starai, 47, all from Geneva, bike during Biking With Beanzie on Sunday in DeKalb. Randi Stella – rstella@daily-chronicle.com
(From left) Trish Webster, 47; Glen Webster, 50; Kim Starai, 45; and Jim Starai, 47, all from Geneva, bike during Biking With Beanzie on Sunday in DeKalb. Randi Stella – rstella@daily-chronicle.com

DeKALB – There was a silver lining to the dark clouds that blew across the sky for much of Sunday. As distance bikers coasted in to DeKalb High School Sunday afternoon after the annual Biking with Beanzie charity ride, they reveled in the cool, cloudy weather.

"The weather was great," Mark Lasko of Chicago said. "It's horrible for summer, but great for riding."

More than 500 riders turned out for the 11th annual fundraiser for the Kishwaukee Kiwanis Club. The money is used for building and maintaining bike and walking trails around the area and for other community service projects, club member Toney Xidis – also known as Beanzie – said.

"It all goes back into the community one way or another," he said of the funds. "It's not so much a fundraiser for our club as it is for community projects."

The ride features several routes, ranging from 23 to 101 miles long, much of it through DeKalb County countryside. Wagons of volunteers patrol the route to help bikers who need assistance, and the routes are sprinkled with clever signs based on old Burma Shave jingles.

Lasko, who took the longest route, said he enjoyed the long stretches of uninterrupted riding..

"In Chicago, I'm always riding on weekends, but the farthest you can go is about two blocks before you hit some kind of traffic and have to stop," he said.

Elizabeth Adamczyk comes from Chicago every year to participate in the ride. She expected to ride 43 miles, but ended up taking the 62-mile route.

"I was doing great and the support said I had plenty of time, so I went for it," she said. "I keep coming back because the signs are fun, the support's great, it's just an all-around great day to come and ride a bike."

Newcomer Jeff Morgan said he made a "flash decision" late Saturday night to take part in the ride, choosing the 43-mile route.

"I had a really good time," he said. "The weather was great, the track was great, the snacks were great. ...It was a beautiful day. I'm glad I came out."

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