Bulletin Staff Report

It’s a long bike ride from Austin to Alaska, so on Sunday, June 8 around 3:30 p.m., a group of Texas 4000 cyclists will be arriving in Brownwood for a short break. This will be the second overnight stopover on the 4,500-mile trek from Austin to Anchorage, Alaska.

Along the way the group, which consists of students from the University of Texas, will be raising money for the American Cancer Society and MD Anderson Hospital.

The Brownwood First United Methodist Church Christian Life Center (CLC) will be the overnight “home” for the cyclists after a barbecue dinner is given in their honor. As part of a “Brownwood Welcome,” local bike riders are invited to join the group along the route from Lampasas to help escort them to the CLC.

The public is also encouraged to line the route and cheer on the group as they approach the city from the south. According to Vonne Cornett, co-owner of the Bike Peddler and the local stop organizer, the west side of Festival Park near the Brown County Humane Society is an ideal place for the public to do just that.

The Sense Corp Texas 4000 for Cancer is a non-profit organization at the University of Texas consisting of a group of 50 undergraduate and graduate students who are working to raise money and hope for the fight against cancer.

Following a joint ride from Austin to Lampasas, the group will split in two, one traveling north and the other traveling west and then north up the coast of California. The latter group is called the Coastal Team, and that will be the one visiting Brownwood.

The organization started in 2003 and last year raised over $265,000 before the ride started and continued to raise more along the way by inspiring people to donate. This year, the Texas 4000 team has set a goal of raising $350,000, which when met, will push Texas 4000’s four-year total of money raised over $1 million.

According to Cornett, the Texas 4000 has found a local group of willing hosts who will assist the group in helping share their three pillars — hope, knowledge and charity.

“These young people would like to spread their positive message to any and all people in our community affected by or struggling with cancer,” she said. “They feel cancer awareness is an integral part of fighting cancer and they wish to pass on their knowledge regarding early detection, prevention and general cancer awareness to as many people as possible.

“These dedicated cyclists know they may face great obstacles along the way, but families with caner suffer greater obstacles everyday. They are biking for those who cannot, and for those who live daily with the possibility that they may not be able to do so tomorrow.”

The Texas 4000 Coastal Team has invited local and area cyclists to join them as they enter Brownwood for their overnight stay on Sunday, June 8.

There will be three designated “hop-on” places: 1. Highway 183 in Mullin, for the longer distance riders; 2. FM 2126 (Access Road) at Hwy 183; and 3. Lori Lane at FM 2126.

The group will ride on FM 2126 to FM 45 (west) and turn right on FM 2376. They will ride past the Humane Society, the west side of Festival Park, and continue on to 14th Street. They will then turn right on Asbury, leading directly to the Brownwood First United Methodist Church parking lot on 11th Street.

Brownwood Police and Fire departments will provide a guided escort on their final approach into Brownwood.

The estimated time of arrival will be announced on the day of the ride, as the schedule is based on what time the Texas 4000 team actually leaves Lampasas.