New day for this years’ Bike With Brent

It’s on a different day this year and it’s this Saturday for the 7th annual Bike With Brent, an annual ride sponsored by the Cache Employment & Training Center (C.E.T.C.). Festivities begin at 9 a.m. at Willow Park and the ride itself is at 11 a.m. On KVNU’s For the People program on Thursday, our guests were Kae Lynn Beecher of CETC, Jeff Bruce of Joyride Bicycles and Brent Carpenter’s sister Linda Carpenter.

Beecher said the event just keeps growing each year but past years’ rides on a Friday have proven inconvenient for many who would like to attend.

“Every year people have said to us, ‘if you would have this on Saturday we would be able to come’ because they work on Friday or something like that. So this year we’re actually making that change.

“It’s going to be on Saturday instead of a Friday. And we’re just amazed at the people that are registering for the event and we’re just excited that this is just going to explode,” she said.

Beecher said it has grown from about 250 participants in its first year to 850 last year which is a new record. She talked about how the ride came about.

“We were thinking years ago ‘how can we let the community know more about people with disabilities and the needs that they have and also what they have to offer to the community?’ Brent is somebody who many years ago, we helped him find a job up at the university and he was successful at that job for many, many years.

“And the community knows Brent. We thought what better person to help us get the word out to the community about people with disabilities. That just started the ball rolling and here we are seven years later.”

One of Brent’s eight sisters, Linda Carpenter, talked about being related to such a celebrity who can regularly be seen riding his bike even to far-flung places like Preston and Tremonton honking and waving at folks as he rides.

She said, “I left Cache Valley for 40 years, and I’ve been back now almost 12. So it’s still kind of new to me and I am just totally stunned. I take him to Salt Lake twice a year, once for his birthday and once at Christmas and we always run into people who know him and stop and talk to him.”

Carpenter says the annual ride is very much a family affair as Brent has been calling her nightly to see if siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews are coming. A yearly attendee is their 94-year-old Dad. She said her brother derives much joy from the yearly event.

In addition to the ride, there will also be bounce houses, a rock-climbing wall, pie eating contest and a Bike Polo competition between local law enforcement and firefighters at 10 a.m. Lunch will be available for purchase and there will be live music by the Stitch Riley Band. Besides riding a bike, people can walk, jog, push a stroller or wheelchair, etc. To register go to <a href=”http://www.cetcsupports.org/register” target=”_blank”>www.cetcsupports.org/register</a> and for more information visit <a href=”http://www.bikewithbrent.com” target=”_blank”>www.bikewithbrent.com</a>.

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