Freedom Ride rolls on despite stormy weather

And they're off! The cyclists begin their journey through the heart of Liberty County for the Liberty Freedom Ride on Saturday, April 13, in downtown Liberty. Cyclists chose from five routes ranging from 20 to 74 miles.

By Vanesa Brashier,

A bit of rain and wind did not deter the 60 or so cyclists who turned out Saturday, April 13, for the Fourth Annual Liberty Freedom Ride. With the MS-150 ride from Houston to Austin just days away, many were motivated to push on despite the weather.

The ride began in downtown Liberty and ventured as far north as Rye in north Liberty County. Riders chose from five routes ranging in distance from 20 to 74 miles. Rest stops along the way kept the riders hydrated and fueled up.

Organizers had hoped for as many as 300 riders, or at least to match last year’s 135 cyclists, but the weather forecast wasn’t in their favor.

Proceeds of the Liberty Freedom Ride goes toward classroom grants through the Liberty ISD Education Foundation. To date, the Education Foundation has provided grants nearing $200,000.

Some cyclists in Saturday’s ride, like Bill Spijkerman of Kingwood, were participating in the Liberty Freedom Ride for the first time ever.

“It’s been great so far,” Spijkerman said at a pit stop at Hardin Intermediate School.

Spijkerman and his family – wife, Jane, sister-in-law, Amy Hair, brother-in-law, John, and niece, Maggie – were taking the 50-mile route and enjoying the countryside of Liberty County. The family is part of the Phillips 66 team for the MS-150.

When asked if they were reading for the hills and challenges that are presented in the MS-150, Spijkerman laughed and said, “Not really, but we won’t be overtrained.”

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