WAXAHACHIE — The “service above self” motto is proving to be faithful yet again as bike riders from across the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex will soon put on a helmet and participate in the 31st annual Cow Creek Country Classic bike ride.

“I look forward to seeing the people because of the community and the friendliness, and the support we get from everybody who comes out to Waxahachie,” expressed Melissa Ballard, Rotary Club of Waxahachie’s Secretary, about the event being held Saturday, June 24. “We anticipate about a thousand people coming from all over the metroplex, and that includes Houston, Denver, and all over the DFW area."

Hosted by the Rotary Club of Waxahachie, the fundraiser is supported by a plethora of sponsors, such as the City of Waxahachie, Citizens National Bank of Waxahachie, Action Fire Pros, Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce, College Street Pub, and many more.

“All of the funds we raise stay in our community and don’t go to any Rotary Club dues. It will go towards nonprofits or anything Rotary does for the community, so it stays in the community,” Ballard assured.

As preparations for Saturday morning inch closer, Ballard notes that the ride accepts all cyclists interested in a beautiful route through the scenic areas of Waxahachie and the surrounding areas.

“It’s a ride for anybody because we’ve got anything from a ten-mile to a 100-mile track, so you can literally bring your entire family,” Ballard inspired community involvement. “Or if you’re training for Wichita Falls or any ride then you have this as a training ride for that. We have something for any age or shape, so it’s really for anybody who loves to ride."

From novice to experienced cyclists, the route will consist of 20, 38, 46, 77, and 100-mile tours on courses marked throughout Waxahachie and Ellis, Johnson, Hill, and Navarro Counties.

“We have a lot of people doing the Wichita Falls ‘Hotter than Hill 100’ ride in August, and so it’s like marathon training, but this is the last hundred miles they will do before that event,” Ballard acknowledged the advanced cyclists. “Literally, if new riders want to, they can go through three counties on that long distance. We’ve got 13 rest stops throughout the route, marked clearly for everybody, and we’ve got safety, and just ask everybody to watch out."

Though cyclists are gearing up with helmets in hand and abiding by road safety regulations, Ballard asks the community to be careful of the riders as they’re in route.

“Just be patient and cautious,” Ballard emphasized. “We have great traffic control at our intersections, and we just ask for the community to adhere to the traffic rules.”

“We understand some people think its cumbersome in some areas at some point during the day, but we just ask everybody to watch out for the bikers because they are visitors to our city,” she encouraged.

As for the riders, the track will be lined with volunteers and professionals ready to help if an emergency beckons.

“We have EMT’s placed around the course especially for some of those long distances,” Ballard described. “We’ve also got a lot of help from the Boy Scout Troops, the Interact Club, and people who volunteer because they enjoy it.”

“And at all the rest stops there’s fruit, honey, Gatorade, water, so those stops are critical for the riders,” she noted. “We’ll also have Baylor Sports Team, and they’re going to be out riding and will bring their medical wagon there in case of emergencies.”

Prepared and ready to ride, the starting line will begin at Waxahachie High School’s Ninth Grade Academy and all routes will, at some point, trek through the streets of downtown Waxahachie.

“We’ve got people who ride this over and over,” Ballard recognized. “I have one gentleman who comes back, and this is his thirtieth ride with us. He’s been coming back to Waxahachie for 30 years because of our community.”

“That’s one of the big comments we always get is about the event is the community,” she emphasized. “If they [the cyclists] stop in the restaurants or talk to the locals, they love it because they’re so friendly, and they just love Waxahachie.”

To register for the 2017 Cow Creek Country Classic bike ride, visit cowcreekcountryclassic.org or call Melissa Ballard at (972)-351-1750. For individual cyclists, the registration fee will be $35, and $25 for groups of four or more, which includes an event t-shirt, a racing bib, and a meal. The ride will be held on Saturday, June 24, starting 7:30 a.m. at the Waxahachie High School’s Ninth Grade facility on 275 Indian Drive.

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Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer

(469)-517-1450