WHEELING - Bicycle riders have the chance to ride for a cause on June 28 in the inaugural "Bike Like MADD" event sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Riders and sponsors will help raise awareness for MADD's Wheeling chapter in their campaign against drunken driving in the Ohio Valley.
For Jody Miller and Melissa Goldbaugh, co-founders of Wheeling's MADD chapter, the fight against drunk driving is personal. Miller's daughter Heather and Goldbaugh's husband, the late Lt. William Samuel Goldbaugh, both died in alcohol-related accidents. To remember them, three different courses bearing their names will be available for riders to travel. The Billy Trail will run 10 miles, with the Heather Trail running 20 miles and the Heather and Billy Trail running 30 miles from the starting point at the Mason Rehab Trail entrance in Elm Grove.
Registration for the ride begins at 7 a.m. June 28, with the race officially beginning at 8 a.m. Registration will cover a pre-tour bicycle safety check, including a helmet requirement, snacks, water at rest stops along the trails, boxed lunches at the finish, T-shirts, and ride assistance.
RIDE READY — Jody Miller, left, Wheeling Police Cpl. Josh Sanders and Melissa Goldbaugh prepare for Wheeling’s first “Bike Like MADD” event at the Mason Rehab Trail in Elm Grove. -- Daniel Dorsch
Miller emphasized that the ride is not competitive.
"It is a ride, not a race," Miller said. "We're raising awareness and hopefully some money to donate to MADD. We're looking for sponsors or anybody who wants to help or ride."
Wheeling Police Department Cpl. Josh Sanders, who Goldbaugh credited with the idea of the bike ride, said he thinks the event fills a niche. He said there are plenty of races, runs and walks in the area for different causes, but not bike events.
"There's really not a lot of bike rides in the area so this seems like a good opportunity," Sanders said. He said about a year of work went into setting the event up according to MADD guidelines after founding the chapter in 2013, but now all that is needed is community support.
"We need people to register ASAP," Sanders said. "Anybody looking to ride or volunteer can call Jody." He added that most local gyms also have registration forms for the event.
There are four tiers of sponsorship for this biking event - sign sponsors, bronze, silver and gold. Each requires a different cost and entails different benefits in race publicity. Miller said through MADD, all funds raised will stay in West Virginia.
For more information call (304) 281-2193.