Jun 16, 2023

Early registration on for Ellis County Tour of Chapels bike ride

Posted Jun 16, 2023 11:01 AM
Tour of Chapels.  Photo courtesy Hays Convention and Visitor's Bureau
Tour of Chapels.  Photo courtesy Hays Convention and Visitor's Bureau

By Tony Guerrero
Hays Post

The Hays Area Bicyclists are celebrating the legacy of the Ellis County region with a commute to a variety of churches. 

The Tour Die Kapellen may include a visit to St. Catherine Church in Catherine, The Basilica on the Plains in Victoria, Holy Cross Church in Pfeifer, and St. Francis Church in Munjor.

The annual event is in its fourth year and will begin at Hays Municipal Park on July 8.

The several routes to choose from include a 15-mile casual ride setting off at 9 a.m. The 30, 50, and 62-mile trails that will be escorted by the Hays Police Department start at 7:30 a.m. and the 75- to 100-mile routes depart between 6:45 to 7 a.m.

Early registration is $45 a person to participate in the bike ride and $75 a person for the bus tour that’ll depart 30 minutes after the cyclists do at the Hays Municipal Park at 8 a.m. 

Cristina Janney/Hays Post<br>
Cristina Janney/Hays Post

After June 23, a bike ride will cost $55 per person and the bus tour will be $85 per person as on-site registration begins at 6:30 a.m.

The bus tour will travel the same route that cyclists take, with each church providing a musical performance and snacks. 

Those who register will receive a SWAG bag and a T-shirt.

Brian Buckstead, Hays Symphony conductor, will perform at St. Catherine Church, Basilica of the Plains with their Brass Quintet led by Kathy Amrein. Jane Hyde will play at Holy Cross Church while Hillary Shepard, Kristin Pisano, and Ben Cline take center stage at St Francis Church.

Cristina Janney/Hays Post<br>
Cristina Janney/Hays Post

The Tour Die Kapellen event website provides a list of safety rules and maps of their routes.

Kay Werth, a coordinator of the event, urged people to not follow along in their vehicles for safety reasons but reassured participants that they will be fully supported and guided.

 “We have over 70 volunteers that help with this ride. We have drivers that follow the bikers in case they need pick up or need assistance or are just too hot. They have a first aid kit. They have a bike pump,” Werth said. 

Musicians will be playing at each site including the post-ride party where The Joe Dolezal Polka Band will perform. 

Deb Hoffman from the Holy Cross Church said they’ll be receiving the majority of the profit from the event but encourages others to donate to the other churches through their websites. 

“We’re probably one of the smaller ones, especially being a mission church it’s a lot more difficult for people who don’t have steady and weekly tithing,” Hoffman said “We have to actively seek funds, and this is one of our fundraisers.”

The after-party will be at noon. Meals and refreshments will be provided as well as adult beverages from Defiance Brewing Company once the bike ride concludes at Hays Municipal Park.