Riding for Ted, a good cause
By RANDY GONZALES
The inaugural Tour de Ted Ride the Wire bicycle race stopped Wednesday in Hays.
Kyle Crump, an area leader from Tucson, Ariz., for Edward Jones, is making the three-state ride that started Sunday in Colorado Springs and was scheduled to end 14 days later in St. Louis, where the company's home office is located. When Crump took off from the starting point Wednesday at Sternberg Museum of Natural History, it might have appeared he was alone on his bike.
With him in spirit, and with a picture of him on the back of Crump's bike, was Jeff Cuzick.
When Crump was a Boy Scout leader, Cuzick was part of his troop. But three years ago, Cuzick lost a three-year battle with throat cancer, at age 24.
"So I'm riding for Ted Jones, and Jeff Cuzick. Just knowing that's a tough battle to fight gives me some inspiration, motivation to carry on, try to do my part," Crump said.
Ted Jones was instrumental in opening the financial firm's first branch office. The race celebrates the life of the firm's second managing partner, who died of cancer more than 20 years ago.
Kurt David, Hays, was attracted to riding in the race because it was raising money to fight cancer.
"I thought, they're doing a charity bike race, it's for a great cause, let's go do that," David said. "Taking the afternoon off from work, and going to do this, celebrate this event."
Approximately 50 riders took off from Sternberg on three routes, one covering 12 miles, another 24 miles and the longest one, covering 36 miles. Jeff Seibel, a financial adviser for Edward Jones who has been part of the Hays branch for 16 years, was riding Wednesday.
"I'm new to the sport, couple of weeks," he said. "It'll be fun."
Hays is one of 13 stops along the way because the local office was part of the original path where telegraph wire stretched from St. Louis to Colorado Springs in the early days of the firm, which was established in 1922. At the firm for 50 years is Seibel's father, Darrell Seibel. He was on hand Wednesday to watch the bikers take off.
In previous years, there were shorter rides in Missouri, along the Katy Trail. Ted Jones and his wife were instrumental in creating the bike and hiking path.
Jeff Seibel was proud to show others in the firm what western Kansas has to offer.
"We're most excited, because a lot of people are here from our St. Louis office," he said. "They get to see western Kansas."
One route took the cyclists to Catharine and back, while another went to Catharine and Victoria and back. The longest one was to Pfeifer and back.
"The course has been named the cathedral route, because we ride by these 100-year-old limestone churches that these early settlers built," Jeff Seibel said. "It's going to be a wonderful day."
David, who has lived in Hays since 1994, never has seen the churches.
"I've never been to Pfeifer; I've never seen the cathedral," he said. "Here's my chance."