Deer Park Rotary Club's fourth annual Texas Independence Bike Tour is in the books.
Although final numbers have yet to be announced, hundreds of riders from across Texas and even out of state to participate in one of the warm-up rides to the BP MS 150 last Sunday. The Texas Independence Bike Tour is powered by Shell Deer Park.
Even though some sprinkles temporarily turned into some heavy rainfall, the weather stayed cool and breezy for the riders.
Riders chose 30-, 42 and 60-mile routes that started in Deer Park and wound their way across neighboring towns and regions.
The ride is the major fundraiser for the Deer Park Rotary Club, which is part of the world's oldest and largest service organization. Funds from Rotary go to local scholarships and fulfilling community needs, such as adopting families during the holidays, providing for the school district's needy and homeless children, assisting Deer Park ISD organizations and some international services such as literacy programs and the eradication of polio.
Roman Guerra, from Harlingen, said this was his fourth time to ride in the tour.
"It's a good ride and it gets better every year. It's a good route and it goes to a great cause," he said. "It's nice to see all the volunteers that come out and help to make sure that the riders have all they need and have a good time."
Bryan Schorzman, Chemicals Business Manager at Shell Deer Park, has participated in the Rotary Club Board for the past several years. He said the partnership between Shell and Deer Park Rotary is sewn by the common thread of community service.
"Shell Deer Park takes immense pride in serving our local community through volunteer efforts, Board memberships, and of course, support for civic and educational causes, such as our title sponsorship of the Texas Independence Bike Ride," he said. "Community outreach is an important and enjoyable aspect of the role that I and my colleagues have as leaders at Shell. For me, the Rotary Club offered an appealing opportunity to satisfy two passions – investing in education and civic pride."
The bike ride had many sponsors, including for rest stops, goodie bag items and other financial donors. Schorzman said these sponsorship, including the title sponsorship from Shell Deer Park is indicative of the close ties of the Deer Park community.
"I think great things can happen when partnerships between industry and the community are formed to achieve common goals."