Local Woman Cycles for MS Awareness
Penny Campbell, California, and Harriet Witherbee, Florissant, participated in the annual Bike MS Gateway Getaway Sept. 8-9 in Columbia.
The event held at the Boone County Fairgrounds drew about 3,000 cyclists for the weekend race to raise funds and awareness for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Campbell and Witherbee chose the 75-mile course from among three distance options.
The team traveled north from Columbia through Hallsville, Sturgeon and Centralia. Along the way, they enjoyed the scenic Missouri countryside as the weather cooperated with sunshine and a cooling breeze.
A rest break in Amish country was a highlight as the children came out to wave to everyone.
After a short lunch break in Sturgeon, they headed back to Columbia.
Sunday the route took them along several county roads northeast from Columbia, along and over Interstate-70 and into Fulton, where lunch was served.
Seeing the Westminster University campus and the Winston Churchill Memorial Church provided an interesting site.
The rest of the route back to Columbia was quite challenging as they traveled numerous hills, encountered many automobiles, and dealt with high winds most of the route.
Family members applauded and cheered as they completed the race, showing appreciation for their significant accomplishment.
This is not the first time Campbell and Witherbee have ridden bikes together.
More than 35 years ago, while in junior high school, Witherbee would ride her bike to Campbell's house in McGirk. One brave day, they rode to the home of Penny's brother in Elston.
Witherbee approached Campbell in June about participating in this year's event.
During the summer, both rode several hundred miles in preparation for their big, weekend ride.
They greatly appreciate Putnam Chevrolet for generously sponsoring their team and giving them the opportunity to support such a wonderful cause.
And what about next year?
"We'll have to wait and see," Campbell said.
Visit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society web site, for more information.