"We are the people our parents warned us about," quipped the fun-loving bicyclers that take part in the annual "Windmill" bike ride in which bicycling enthusiasts travel some 70 miles to end in Okoboji. This is the 10th year the ride has been organized.
Friday was when this year's trip took place with about 55 riders; they all convened in Alta and got in a good breakfast at Scooters before taking off for their trip. Riders have ranged in ages over the years from 5 years old to 65.
The first ride consisted of former resident Melinda Douma and Storm Lake's Laurie Meylor. Both enjoyed riding and planned the trip to the Lakes. It was such a nice ride, the women said, that they have had fun sharing the route with other bike enthusiasts that they have become acquainted with.
The numbers of participants have remained about at the 50-mark; different riders have taken part but many of the same have been back each year for the ride. This year, riders were from as far away as Davenport and even Moline, Ill.
The Windmill ride is training for many of the bicyclers that go on to ride in RAGBRAI which will take place later this month.
The riders came in teams. Represented were the Team Come I Wanna Lei Ya, Team Pink Floyd, Team Jokers, Cattle Feeders, Team Shower Partner, Team Checkers.
Once arriving in Okoboji, the riders spend the night and then take off for a ride the next day sponsored by the University of Okoboji where they can ride as far as they want to. "I rode across the street once," laughed Sam Cogdill, head of Team Checker. Others ride 25, 50 or 100 miles.
Friday was a good day for a ride, they agreed. "We've had a few years of riding with the tail wind, a few years of riding with the head wind. Today is perfect," they said as they geared up to head out of Alta.
Following their weekend rides, they arranged for bus transportation back to Alta. Many of them will be back next year.