90-mile bike ride helps Hospice of WF & cyclists

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - More than 30 cyclists took off for a 90-mile bicycle ride through several cities in Texoma for a good cause on Saturday.

It was the ninth annual 90 for Dad Bicycle Ride benefit which raises money for Hospice Hospital of Wichita Falls.

The benefit was started by Dail Neely in 2008 to honor his parents who passed and help the hospital who cared for them.

"They would not want this kind of fuss being made over them but Hospice did such a great job taking care of them I couldn't think of any better way to make a tribute to them," Neely said.

The event takes place every year on the first Saturday after Neely's father's birthday.

"My dad was my one-man support crew so when I would go out and ride, he would meet me, give me water, give me Gatorade," Neely said.

Other cyclists use this event to honor their loved ones as well.

"Last year, my husband and I led in the ride," Angie Reay said. "I lost my dad and my grandma last year that is who I keep in my mind as we ride."

She said she also thinks about everybody who has lost somebody and feels good knowing the cyclists and volunteers are also supporting a good cause.

The heat may have weighed heavy on their bodies as they made their ride from Hospice Hospital of Wichita Falls to Archer City, then to Windthorst and finally turning back. But with some sheer tights filled with ice and their loved ones on their minds they had enough motivation to reach their goal.

"They are with us the whole time that we are riding, knowing that, gives us the strength to push through and finish out the ride," Reay said.

Neely hopes 90 cyclists will join him next year for what would be his father's 100th birthday.

The event has raised more than $230,000 for Hospice since its inception. Hospice has used that money to fund their children's programs, Camp Grin and provide services to their patients.

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