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Credit Union jumps in to beat bike challenge

Eager to watch the parade of motorcycles pass through, folks lined the streets of New York Mills while the long procession of bikes made their way through town at the start of the Ronald McDonald House Ride Saturday. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal1 / 3
Kids and their guardians stood in line waiting for their chance to bike through the course Saturday in the New York Mills School parking lot. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal2 / 3
Bikes as far as you can see lined the front of the New York Mills School on Saturday at the start of the bike rodeo. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal3 / 3

Crews of volunteers working to put on the Ronald McDonald House Ride look to create a fun event for young and old each year.

They were able to do that Saturday in New York Mills during the 18th annual event, first with a kids bike rodeo at the New York Mills School. While McDonalds has been a past sponsor to help buy and gather bike donations from the area, this year organizers say they needed to find a new sponsor willing to rise to the occasion.

What started years ago as an event with a handful of bikes, grew to a challenge this year to gather 101 bikes.

Not only did Central Minnesota Credit Union in New York Mills meet that goal, they helped bring out 110 bikes. That's enough bikes that it filled the sidewalks of the front of the school with a glimmering sea of shiny splendor. Organizers like Greg Karvonen and Grassy said that the event brought out about 300 kids last year, so they hoped to have enough bikes for at least a third of the kids to take one home. There were 258 kids in attendance this year, giving some pretty good odds for taking home a bike. Organizers repeatedly said that the event wouldn't be possible without the generosity of the businesses and community through donations of time, money and resources.

The volunteers then led kids through a bike safety course and handed out goodies to all. Those that took part went into the drawing to win a bike announced by Ronald McDonald himself. In addition to the bikes, 75 helmets were given out to make sure riders could do so safely.

Following the bike rodeo, bikers rallied at the New York Mills VFW for the start of the ride which traveled to Wolf Lake and Wadena. A total of 725 motorcycles hit the road to be a part of raising $110,000 and counting.

The winner of this year's motorcycle, a 2019 Harley Davidson Street Glide, was Kyle Katchmark from Detroit Lakes.