Nine years ago, Dail Neely started the “90 for Dad” bike ride in memory of his father who passed away.
Neely started organizing the event because he was so appreciative and thankful for the care Hospice provided for his father in 2008 — then his mother just two years later.
The ride started with ten people embarking on the 90 mile journey.
This year 36 braved the heat.
“I started at year one so i have ridden every year except for the year i was pregnant with my two girls but I’ve been a part of it every year,” said “90 for Dad” cyclist Angie Reay.
Reay said the event became more personal for her over the years.
“Initially this started out as making sure we were supporting Hospice. They are such a great asset to our community. Last year was a significant ride for me because I had lost my dad and my grandma and Hospice took care of them at the end of their lives, so it has a little bit more of a special meaning,” said Reay.
Many of those involved have a deep connection to hospice and the care they provide to patients and their families. Some participants even said the ride has helped with the healing process.
“90 for Dad” cyclist Myra Weeks said she’s motivated by the mementos she brings along for the ride.
“As it’s grown, the friendships have grown. The closeness has grown. These people are my family. They aren’t just cyclists. They aren’t just people I hang out with. They’re family. Their families have all gone through similar situations that ours have so there is even a greater bond,” said Weeks.
This is the first year the ride has ended at Hospice of Wichita Falls.
Dail Neely said every year the route is different and he hopes the 10th anniversary will be a condensed version of the Hotter N’ Hell 100 route.
His dream is for 90 riders to complete the 90 miles for next year’s ride.
Neely’s ultimate goal is to have raised a $250,000 for Hospice of Wichita Falls by the end of the event’s 10 year run.