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Hippo Hunt 2015 has been deemed a success! Just ask the winning team, the BGDB Hippos!!
Teams met on Saturday, November 14th at Creekside Park to compete in a bicycle-powered hippo scavenger hunt. Each team had a different “route” and received clues to solve that would take them to one of 12 hippo stations. Once all hippo stations were visited (in order based on clues), there was a mad dash for the finish. Jennifer Abrams, Sarah Shearin, Camille Baptiste, and Stephanie Webb of the BGDB Hippos team were the winners of this year’s event. Each member of the team received a small concrete hippo. BGDB stands for ‘Black Girls Do Bike’. (To learn more about the BGDB movement that encourages cycling among black women, please visit http://www.blackgirlsdobike.com/)
The event was able to raise $400 for Hutto Has Heart through registration and an addition donation made through Capital Metro. Hutto Has Heart seeks to serve and empower the emotional, financial, educational, and spiritual well-being of the Hutto community members by organizing and sustaining collaborative efforts.
Hippo Hunt could only be made possible through the generous sponsorship of Capital Metro, as well as a delicious breakfast sponsorship from Ricardo’s Tacos and Baked N Sconed. Swag bags were courtesy of the City of Hutto and the Shop Small initiative. The Hutto High School Leo’s donated their time to volunteer for the event. Bike Hutto would also like to thank Please Be Kind To Cyclists, the Wilco Wellness Alliance, It’s Time Texas, and the City of Hutto Parks and Recreation Department for their contributions to the participant swag bags.
Bike Hutto is already making plans for 2016 and will be turning Hippo Hunt into an annual event that happens in the spring. “Hutto has well over 300 hippos throughout the community so there is plenty of room for creativity as we develop new routes and clues. We look forward to continuing to grow and expand the Hippo Hunt event in the years to come.” stated Bike Hutto director, Jessica Romigh.
What started with a community survey and one Bike Hutto member stepping up earlier this summer has become a full-fledged Group Ride program here in Hutto, Texas – one that attracts both Hutto residents, as well as bicyclists from surrounding communities.
On June 20th, 2015, Bike Hutto had its first Hutto Group Ride which was led by Ride Leader James Jumonville. Jumonville had approached Bike Hutto with an interest in leading a group ride in Hutto the beginning of June. Coincidentally, the local bicycling advocacy organization was in the process of conducting a community survey to get a pulse on what types of future biking activities would be of interest. Group Rides had already surfaced as being a number one need for Hutto.
“The timing couldn’t have been more perfect!” says Bike Hutto founder, Jessica Romigh. “James is a very accomplished rider and really knows the country roads around here. We were so happy when he volunteered to start leading rides!”
After that initial ride in June, the program slowly gained momentum with a couple more rides being added each month over the summer. More and more community members started attending rides. And it wasn’t just Hutto residents joining in the fun. Bicyclists started to come from surrounding towns to enjoy Hutto’s trails and easy access to scenic country roads through the group ride program.
In September, Bike Hutto expands the program to include 5 Group Ride Leaders: James Jumonville, Camille Baptiste, Amber Townsley, Kimberleigh Kimball, and Gina Auditore. Rides vary in length and intent giving the opportunity for a wide variety of bicyclists to get involved. The goal is to reach as many different types of cyclists as possible –ranging from beginners to experienced. Scheduled rides in September include Gearing Down For Yoga (a group ride centered around a stop at the launch party of The Hutto Yoga Room to participate in a yoga class) and Bike & Brunch (a 40 mile ride that ends with the riders having brunch at Baked N Sconed, a favorite local spot in Hutto.)
Hutto Group Rides are open to all individuals wishing to ride. There is no requirement to have a Bike Hutto membership or any fees involved. All rides are no drop (no one gets left behind). For more information on upcoming rides, please visit: https://bikehutto.org/programs/hutto-group-rides/