2012-08-19 / News

‘Superhero’ bike riders lend helping hand while in Lapeer

BY PHIL FOLEY 810-452-2616 • pfoley@mihomepaper.com


About a dozen Superhero Bike Ride participants on Thursday helped out at Stone Soup Food Pantry and at the First Presbyterian Church on Calhoun Street in Lapeer. 
Photo provided by Joy Ventline About a dozen Superhero Bike Ride participants on Thursday helped out at Stone Soup Food Pantry and at the First Presbyterian Church on Calhoun Street in Lapeer. Photo provided by Joy Ventline LAPEER —They peddled into town Thursday with names like SerendipiTease and Captain Valor, looking like a road cast of Godspell, and when the Superhero Bike Ride left several non-profit groups were smiling.

“We thought we were seeing things,” said Stone Soup’s Suzanne Freiwald. About a dozen Superhero Bike Ride participants showed up at the food bank offering to do community service.

Group members, said Joy Ventline, Stone Soup’s director of donation relations, helped check expiration dates on food on the food banks’s shelves and worked on Stone Soup’s float for the Lapeer Days parade. A couple of other riders, said Ventline, mowed an elderly couple’s yard.

The group pulled weeds at the American Legion Hall and helped serve dinner at the First Presbyterian Church on Calhoun Street. The group camped behind the Legion hall Thursday night.

“I was warned,” said Vera Grayhek, a church volunteer who’s been helping out with the Thursday night dinner for more than 15 years. However, she added, “I didn’t know what to expect.”

What she got was five costumed volunteers, including one man who said he’d been a chef for 25 years. “They were a lot of help,” Grayhek said.

“They were different, unique,” she, adding she wasn’t quite sure what the church’s dinner guests thought of Laughing Moon, with his cape and driftwood horns stuck in his bicycle helmet.

Laughing Moon said Ethan Hughes organized the first Superhero Bike Ride in 1999. Starting out with seven riders and a dog, Hughes covered 5,000 miles between Seattle, Wash., and Boston, Mass., in three months. Laughing Moon said along the way people joined in and dropped out doing community service along the way, but when it was over Hughes had one other rider with him.

Since then, said Laughing Moon, there have been 21 other rides. The latest started at Robin and Greg Mallor’s Three Roods Farm in Columbiaville Wednesday.

Friday the group planned on riding from the American Legion Hall to Strawbale Studio in Oxford.

Laughing Moon, who’s originally from Novi, said he plans on riding at least three and a half weeks. Sun Belly, who came from St. Louis, Mo., to ride said she didn’t know who long she’d be at it. “As long as it goes, I’ll be here,” chimed in a young woman who identified herself as One Drop.

Laughing Moon called it a “self exploration process.”

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