Shoals Cycling Club sponsors memory ride
Kim West, Franklin County Times
MUSCLE SHOALS – The Shoals Cycling Club was originally formed to help its members prepare for mountain races with road rides. Today, the club's objectives include raising awareness for bicycle safety and enjoying group rides in local locations.
"We have 38 members, and we have about 80 people registered on our Web site," said William Bonee, club president and pastor of the Church of the Nazarene. "We provide a means for that group to get together and do group rides and stay up to date in the world of cycling. We have several members of our club from the Russellville area, and we also have a member from Red Bay."
The club sponsored a 35-40 mile ride through Colbert and Franklin counties yesterday to honor a member's nine-year-old grandson, who was killed on June 23, 2006 while riding his bicycle.
"The ride is in memory of Rhys Hammock, who was killed in a bicycle-car accident a year ago (yesterday)," Bonee said. "He was riding his bicycle in his neighborhood, and rode out in front of a car he didn't see.
"We did a ride for him last year in July, but his year's ride is on the anniversary of his death, and it's a way to remember Rhys."
Bonee said the club requires its members to wear helmets during its rides and works to improve bicycle safety and remember bicycle accident victims.
"On May 16, we cooperated with the Ride of Silence organization and rode through Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia and Sheffield in memory of those who have been killed or injured in bicycle accidents on roadways," Bonee said. "In March we sponsored a bicycle rodeo with the Muscle Shoals Education Foundation and the Muscle Shoals Optimist Club to teach kids bicycle safety.
"In the Shoals area, there have been two people killed while riding a bicycle in the past two years. One was Rhys and the other was man who was riding on Wilson Dam Road."
The club is co-sponsoring the Handy Ride on July 28 at McFarland Park and participating the in the Russellville Kiwanis Club's Watermelon Ride on August 11 at 7:30 a.m.
"The Watermelon Festival ride is one of the tougher rides we go on because of the climbing in Franklin County, but it's a good ride and they always do a good job with it," Bonee said.
Members of the club from Franklin County include Ken Askew, Buddy Perdue, Alan Beasley, Kenny Marsh and James Hester of Russellville; and Phillip Scott of Red Bay.
For membership information, visit the club's Web site at shoalscyclingclub.org or contact Bonee at 256-383-8406.
"The easiest way to get information is to go to the club Web site," Bonee said. "There's a link on joining the club that has an application they can download and mail to us. The club meets the first Monday night of every month.
The next meeting is July 2 at 5:30 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene at 218 East Sixth Street in Muscle Shoals.