Santas and other holiday characters cycled up and down High Street Saturday morning, spreading holiday cheer.
“From the Grinch to Santa to Buddy the Elf, and everybody’s got little bows for their bike,” said Deana Rogers, a sponsor for the Santa Ride. “It’s been a great morning. Feels like Christmas now.”
The ride’s route started at Johnny Velo Bikes on North High Street.
This is the second year the group has braved the 5 1/2-mile ride, but this year, riders had a different motivation.
“Last year, I threw it together in about six days and we had about 20 riders, and this year, we were a little bit more organized,” said John Robinson with Johnny Velo Bikes. “We’ve got about 225 riders show up today and we’ve raised upwards of $7,000 to help Eva (Simons) with her medical bills.”
Simons lost her leg when she was attacked in late October by a pack of dogs when she got a flat tire on a cycling trip. She said Saturday’s ride means the world to her.
“This is really, this is the first time that I’m out for fun and for joy to see all my friends,” she said. “Just an amazing, amazing event and so may people that I know, and I had a chance to see them all in one place because they came out for me.”
After learning all Simons endured, Rogers said she had to help.
“She’s just incredible and the people that helped here were amazing,” she said. “And it’s just so touching. How could you not want to jump on board and draw attention to the good of all the people that’s rallied around her?”
All the proceeds from the ride will help Simons with her recovery.