Hundreds pedal for a purpose in the Chippewa Valley

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- As summer quickly approaches, it's time to pull out the bicycles and go riding. For hundreds of cyclists, they kicked off their riding season with annual one hundred mile ride through the Chippewa Valley.

Hundreds kicked off the summer bicycle season at the Leinenkugel's Chippewa Valley Century Ride.

Saturday morning starting bright and early at 7 a.m. riders set off for the annual Leinenkugel's Chippewa Valley Century Ride. "It's very stress free, very relaxing and we enjoy it a lot,” said Senthil Senthil who came for a ride with his family.

It was a picture perfect day to be out pedaling for a purpose, starting at Irvine Park."We raise funds for the community, last year we raised $18,000 for the community,” said organizer, Mike Buchmann. The funds help to support local food pantries, homeless shelters and area parks. "We meet a lot of nice people here, it's a very fun day,” Buchmann added. "We have families are riding, we have 3 year old riding this year up to 80s and 90 year old riders."

All of the riders can choose between four routes, from 35 miles, 50 miles, 75 miles or the full 100 miles. "We're looking at the 75, no the 100, well one of the two,” said Barbara and Bruce Blair who still trying to decide how far they were going to ride.

But no matter how far you go, it's about enjoying the ride. "It's just free being on the bicycle is when you take in all of this beauty and it's like being free, I really love bicycling,” said cyclist, Kimberly Matthews.

But some other riders, they are motivated by what comes after they cross the finish line. "I like the beer, Leinenkugels beer at the end, the Summer Shandy, that's the best part,” Senthil added.

Having a beer and biking is a long standing memorial weekend tradition for many families. Along with hundreds of other riders that come back year and after year. Organizers say they are already planning for next year’s ride, but until then, Matthews added, “ride on and have fun.”