On Saturday, September 17, 2016, the fourth annual Pedal the Petrified, a non-competitive cycling tour of Petrified Forest National Park will be presented by Northland Pioneer College Friends and Family in partnership with Petrified Forest National Park. All proceeds support scholarships for the students of Northland Pioneer College.
The supported ride features a choice of both Metric Century and Metric Half-Century routes, with stops for food and water approximately every five miles. NPC’s Lisa Jayne serves as ride director, coordinating a team of more than 50 volunteers, most of them NPC employees, who make it all happen and assure riders enjoy themselves and feel appreciated with everything from homemade goodies to photo booths!
Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center provides and staffs a fully equipped mobile aid unit, and with the help of paramedics from Puerco Valley Fire District, riders can count on a rapid response if medical help is needed. Fortunately, first-aid requirements at past rides have been limited to skinned knees and minor bruises.
Registration for this year’s event was filled to capacity by early June, thanks in part to an article by a 2015 rider that appeared in the May issue of AAA’s Highroads Magazine. Two hundred fifty riders from all over the United States have signed up to take part, which particularly pleases NPC Friends and Family executive director Betsyann Wilson. Since taking on coordination of the event in 2014, Wilson has sought to make the ride a nationally recognized destination event, introducing people from outside our area to the beautiful Colorado Plateau and White Mountains, and enticing them to return. She stuffed riders’ bags with information about all the things to do and places to visit in Navajo and Apache County, and invited local restaurants and hotels to sponsor the ride in exchange for direct promotion to riders. The results have paid off. In 2014, 81 riders took part; in 2015 there were almost 200. Many of this year’s registrants are returning, and about a third of them have ridden Pedal the Petrified every year, since it began with a field of 45 in 2013. The 2014 event brought in almost $12,000 for scholarships, while 2015 saw that figure double.
It isn’t too late to join in the success and sponsor Pedal the Petrified, supporting the students of Northland Pioneer College! For more information, please call Betsyann Wilson at (800)-266-7845, extension 6245.