By Lindsay Starr Platt, The Belton Journal
On Saturday morning just after a light breakfast of bananas, pastries and orange juice, cyclists saddled up at Harris Community Center to embark on a bike ride through majestic Bell County for the “Stampede on the Chisholm Trail” for the Belton Lions Club. Participants had the choice of choosing a bike ride with just the right distance for them to easily coast through or to challenge themselves. All the bike routes started and ended at the community center, and riders were treated to a hot dog lunch after the ride and chance to meet and greet with fellow cyclists.
“This is our fifth year for the event, called ‘Stampede on the Chisholm Trail.’ The first year of the event was in 2011,” said James Harrison, Belton Lions Club member.
Cyclists had the option of choosing from five different ride distances; 12 miles, 30 miles, 50 miles, 55 miles and 62 miles. Although all the rides started at the same place, depending on the distance chosen participants had the chance to see various parts of Bell County surrounding the Belton, Salado and Nolanville area.
“The flowers were gorgeous,” commented Rod Houston, cyclist, Belton resident. “The corn could be seen coming up. It was fun for me and made for a challenge. We got to go down Campbell Hill for a change and that was nice.”
Alex Morales, cyclist, Salado resident commented. “The weather was perfect and the scenery was awesome.”
“Lots of great sponsors.” commented Harrison “The Lions Club will host it again next year on the first Saturday of May.”
Local sponsors included Grand Avenue Theater, The Belton Education Learning Center, Blue Ridge Ranch, Tri-City Bicycles and Atmos Energy.
“Beautiful perfect weather! No wind, just perfect for a bike ride.’ said Susan Connally, cyclist, Temple resident. “The rest stops were great and everyone was nice, though we could use some pickles as refreshments next year.”
Proceeds from the ride will be used to benefit different Lions Club projects in the community and also the Lions Club Children’s Camp in Kerrville, Texas.
“It is not a race, just a fun ride over five different routes in and around Belton,” said Harrison.
“We really enjoyed it, such great scenery,” said Bridgette Sparks, cyclist, Harker Heights resident. “This is a great park to have the final rest at, alongside the creek, just perfect. This race was well supported, I appreciate all the volunteers and the good Texas hospitality.”