BAY MINETTE — Hundreds of cyclists will roll through the streets of north Baldwin on Saturday, June 19, as part of RIDEYELLOW. This event – and the causes it supports – makes it more than just a bike ride with a scenic route.
Sponsored by Infirmary Health, the RIDEYELLOW charity bike ride provides funding for cancer-related charities and to date has contributed more than $530,000 toward that effort.
This year, proceeds will once again benefit Rapahope, a non-profit organization that offers free, year-round recreational and support programs for those with childhood cancer and their families.
The annual ride – held Father’s Day weekend – begins at Halliday Park in Bay Minette with a 6-mile tribute ride. Individuals can choose to participate in only the tribute ride or continue by pedaling in the 10-, 20-, 37- or 62-mile route at their leisure. Riders can ride in honor and/or in memory of someone who has battled cancer and many often write the names of those individuals on their ride number. Rest stops are available along the way and food, beverage and vendor booths are available when riders return to the park.
A special part of the day’s events is the Unity Chain displayed at the park. Volunteers take the list from participants who want to ride in honor or memory of someone and writes each name on a strip of paper. Those strips are linked together to form the Unity Chain.
RIDEYELLOW was founded in 2007 by Mary Trufant and Ann White-Spunner to raise awareness of cancer and to draft grassroots support of their mission of inspiring and empowering people affected by cancer. That first event took place in Loxley and the event moved to Bay Minette the following year, where it has remained.
Like many events in 2020, RIDEYELLOW went virtual and was still able to raise $10,000 in support of Rapahope. Joshua Hodge, event organizer, is expecting an amazing turnout for this year’s in-person event.
“We are excited about having a live event this year! Even though we had a successful virtual event last year due to the pandemic, there is nothing like having an event in person and seeing everybody being outside and enjoying themselves,” Hodge said.
While it’s great to get together, Hodge said RIDEYELLOW is more than your typical event. “This bike ride is very important to participants because they are riding in honor or in memory of a friend, family member, or loved one that has dealt with or lost their life to cancer,” he said.
The charity bike ride is also an important part of the North Baldwin landscape and now a permanent art installation helps to tell that story.
A sculpture honoring RIDEYELLOW was installed as part of a joint project between North Baldwin Infirmary and the city’s Committee on Public Art. The design features two cyclists as they take part in annual event with the yellow ribbon symbolizing the race to victory over cancer.
The sculpture was designed and built by AAA Iron Works in Mobile and can be viewed on the front lawn of the North Baldwin Chamber of Commerce on McMeans Avenue, directly across from Halliday Park where the annual ride takes place.
Mayor Bob Wills said the City of Bay Minette is excited to once again host RIDEYELLOW.
“It is not only a much-anticipated event for cyclists from all over southwest Alabama and neighboring states, but more importantly is a major fundraiser in the fight against cancer,” he said. “It is a privilege for us to host this fun and meaningful event and our folks will be doing their best to make it enjoyable for all the hundreds of participants and volunteers. We hope to see you there!”
For more information about RIDEYELLOW, visit rideyellow.org.