On Saturday, August 13, 2011, Perception Programs, Inc., and the Windham Area Interfaith Ministry (WAIM) will host the 20th Annual Steeple Chase Bike Tour. The Steeple Chase offers cyclists 20, 35, 50, 62.5 and 100 mile routes that wind through 14 towns in scenic northeastern Connecticut. The tour is held rain or shine.
The Steeple Chase is a fund-raiser for two area non-profit social service agencies, WAIM and Perception Programs. The Windham Area Interfaith Ministry, comprised of 39 faith communities, provides emergency financial assistance, clothing, and furniture to community members who are struggling financially. Perception Programs offers treatment, case management, education and housing to people with substance use and mental health co-occurring disorders, adults involved in the criminal justice system, and people living with AIDS.
This year the Steeple Chase will honor Ed Austin, one of the founders of the Bike Tour. For the past 20 years, Ed has organized the rest stops and sag wagons, marked the routes, and has been the events’ lead organizer and cheerleader with local faith communities and the community at large. One year, when Ed was worried that there was too great a distance between rest stops for the 20 milers, he helped build the Holy Cow Shelter, a very popular spot along the tour. Ed’s dedication continues to be a major reason why this event is so much fun and a great success. .
Pre-registration is $25 for individual riders and $75 for families or groups. Riders are also asked to raise additional sponsorship — $50 for individuals and $100 for families or groups. Day of registration fees are higher ($30 and $85).
Riders will visit rest stops at historic churches with all kinds of food prepared by WAIM’s member faith communities. Other freebies include food, beverages and snacks after the ride for all participants and Steeple Chase T-shirts to all individual riders (two free T-shirts for family/group riders).
This year, there is a change in location. Steeple Chase will begin and end at Eastern Connecticut State University Athletic Complex, 69 Mansfield City Rd. in Mansfield, CT. Registration opens at 7am. 20 and 35 milers must be out by 10am, 50 milers out by 9:30 am, and 100 milers and Metric Century (62.5) riders out by 8:30am.
Incentive prizes will be awarded to top fundraisers. Sign up with a group from your company, cycling club or faith community to participate in our Corporate/Club/Church challenge.
Riders are encouraged to pre-register by visiting www.perceptionprograms.org, active.com, bikereg.com or by calling Ruth Gordon at 860-450-7122. Steeple Chase sponsors and donors can use the same contact.
Come out and support Perception Programs and WAIM and enjoy a ride in Connecticut’s beautiful quiet corner.