“Live from the High Trestle Trail, it’s Saturday Night!” said Brenda Miller. “That’s the theme for our annual Pedal for the House bike ride this year.”
Miller is the executive director of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Iowa, which will benefit from fund raised during Saturday’s event. “We are encouraging riders to dress up like characters from Saturday Night Live,” she said. “We will have prizes for the best female costume, best male costume, best couple in costume, and we’ll also have a prize for the bike club with the most registered participants.”
Registration to ride Pedal for the House is $30. “That gets riders a neon yellow beer mug that gives them $1 off domestic beers at the two bars that are sponsoring the ride. We are so grateful to the bars for their support,” Miller said. The two bars are the Flat Tire Lounge (304 S. Madison, Madrid) and Nite Hawk Bar and Grill (105 Greene St., Slater).
“We will also be having a raffle for two Budweiser cruiser bikes,” Miller said. “The raffle tickets will be one for $10 or three for $20. When you buy three tickets, you get a blinky light to put on your bike.”
There will also be a silent auction of donated items. “There are a lot of local merchants in Ames who have donated to our auction,” Miller said. “They’ve always been there for us when we’ve needed them.”
The bicycle ride will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Flat Tire Lounge and will end back there at 7 p.m. for the close of the auction and the drawing of the raffle. At 7:30, the band Too Cool will perform. “They’re a great cover band, playing music from several decades,” Miller said. “They perform lots of different, fun dance music.”
Here’s how the Pedal for the House is set up: The ride begins and ends in Madrid at the Flat Tire Lounge. There are stops at each end of the route (Madrid is in the middle). The High Trestle Bridge is west of the Flat Tire; Nite Hawk in Slater is east.
Pedal for the House is not a race. Riders can begin riding once they’re registered or checked-in at the Flat Tire. They can start out going either direction and ride at their own pace. Riders can complete some or all of the route and turn back at any time.
Free Coca-Cola products will be available, and beer will be for sale at both bars. “Tommy at Flat Tire and Shawn at the Nite Hawk will be choosing our winning costumes,” Miller said.
There’s some cool technology being used this year, the seventh year of the event, Miller said. “There will be an app you can put on your phone so you can take photos during the ride, and those photos will be scrolling on TVs at both bars,” she said. “Also the auction has mobile bidding, so you can bid from your phone while you’re out and about.”
Miller said people are welcome to attend, even if they’re not interested in riding the trail. “If you want to support us and just come hang out, it will be a fun time,” she said. Miller noted that Bakeris Roofing and Zombie Burger are major sponsors for this year’s Pedal for the House.
This year is the 35th anniversary of the Ronald McDonald House in Des Moines. “Ames is certainly one of our larger served area,” Miller said. The Ronald McDonald House provides a temporary “home away from home” at little or no cost to families while their children are being treated at any local medical facility.
The Des Moines house can accommodate up to 12 families at a time. The only requirement to stay is that the family live outside Polk County and have a child 21 years old or younger being treated at an area hospital. “We primarily serve families whose children are premature, have respiratory problems, cystic fibrosis or cancer,” Miller said. In 2011, the Des Moines location provided accommodations for more than 400 families from 71 Iowa counties and 10 different states.