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Riding for reading: 35th annual Turkey Roll Bicycle Rally benefits Tiny Library Project

Riding for reading: 35th annual Turkey Roll Bicycle Rally benefits Tiny Library Project

The Denton Breakfast Kiwanis Club hosted its 35th annual Turkey Roll Bicycle Rally benefiting local libraries on November 18. The event included five different routes suitable for varied-level bicyclists. Sara Carpenter

Riding for reading: 35th annual Turkey Roll Bicycle Rally benefits Tiny Library Project
November 19
19:34 2017

The whistling wind could be heard through the spokes of the bikes, waiting silently together in a herd.

Joe Holland, the president of Denton Kiwanis Club, riled up the crowd for two more minutes before starting the rally.

The large mass of bikes slithered together like snakes as they took off, before separating into their respective trails. The steady stream of bikes made their way, staying attached until their route was spotted.

Denton Breakfast Kiwanis Club hosted its 35th annual Turkey Roll Bicycle Rally Saturday at the Immaculate Conception Church. The rally included five bicycle trails, plenty of rest stops and food from Rudy’s BBQ.

“Our largest route is 68 miles long, and our shortest is eight miles long,” committee co-chair Mary Harris said. “It’s a chance to ride bicycles with friends and get together.”

Harris has been part of Denton Breakfast Kiwanis Club since 2002. Her dad was a Kiwanian before women were allowed to be part of it. After she joined, Harris became a member of the committee that was in charge of the Turkey Roll Bicycle Rally.

“I was invited to join by a colleague — a UNT faculty [member],” Harris said. “I like being a member of it. It helps us know what’s going on in Denton.”

Denton Breakfast Kiwanis Club is part of an international organization whose motto is “serving the children of the world.” The organization prides itself in sponsoring local clubs throughout Denton in service projects geared towards helping kids.

The Turkey Roll Bicycle Rally is the epitome of the Denton Breakfast Kiwanis Club. It has become an annual tradition in Denton after it was started by Holland almost 35 years ago

“We needed a fundraiser [for the club],” Holland said. “I was familiar with bicycle rallies, so we decided to do this.”

The Denton Breakfast Kiwanis Club’s goal has always been to sponsor clubs such as Key Club at high schools and Circle Key at colleges to aid Denton youth. The rally has always helped them meet their goals by providing funds for such service projects, but this year, it also shed light on a new service they are offering.

This year, the club is focusing its efforts on establishing tiny, doghouse-sized libraries throughout Denton to make books accessible to children.

“Our tiny library project [is our] signature project that is our main thrust,” Holland said. “We want to provide literacy to help children get to their reading level.”

The tiny libraries will be around town at public places, like the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, where children can often be found when they are out from school.

Each rider in the rally received a goodie bag that included a list of libraries and their location. Currently, the Kiwanis Club has 20 tiny libraries already set up and ready to go.

The Kiwanis don’t give up. They have been at it since Janurary, taking only a two month break between each Bicycle Rally before starting up again. They have had meetings every week to prepare.

“It’s been part of my life — [the club] is like a family,” Holland said.

The labor-intensive work that goes into event preparation is all worth it for Holland when he gets to witness the hundreds of riders that come out.

“It’s the coolest thing to see,” Holland said. “You see this silent snake ride out together.”  

The club has a goal to round up at least a thousand riders. They have been making strides on that goal already with more riders bringing their families out each year.

“It’s great coming out here,” said Harmony Davis, a Denton resident celebrating her second year at the rally. “Both the kids and I get some some exercise and have fun. Plus, it’s for a good cause, too.”

The most popular route at the rally is the 39-mile route.

“We view our Turkey Roll like the last rally of the season,” Harris said. “It’s the Saturday right before Thanksgiving, so it makes it even more special.”

The longest route has plenty of rest stops, including one for Rudy’s BBQ where riders can relax before heading out again.

After the rider is done, the rally provides refreshments and relaxation for them to enjoy the rest of their day, knowing that they’ve contributed to a positive organization and cause.

“It is a fantastic day,” Holland said. “I never miss it. I make sure my calendar is clear for this day.”

Featured Image: The Denton Breakfast Kiwanis Club hosted its 35th annual Turkey Roll Bicycle Rally benefiting local libraries on Nov. 18. The event included five different routes suitable for varied-level bicyclists. Sara Carpenter

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Sadia Saeed

Sadia Saeed

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1 Comment

  1. sugar daddy
    sugar daddy November 21, 01:38

    I like riding. It can not only exercise, but also environmental protection. In fact, all countries advocate that people should ride bicycles more and drive less. Competition is not about winning or losing, but about attracting more people to this event. GREAT…

    Reply to this comment

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