Summit Bike Team

March 16, 2017

There are a variety of small groups at The Summit Church, including The Summit Bike Team, whose members enjoy fellowship and faith through exercise every week.
Keith Hostetler, Summit Bike Team member, has been a part of the group since May 2015.
“This isn’t a bike group that happens to go to the church, this is a church group that happens to ride bikes together,” he said. “The church has groups for everyone. It’s part of the church’s Group Life, so you can find something that you are interested in. It’s just a connection of a smaller group of people.”
Hostetler began cycling in 2009 after signing up for a sprint triathlon.
“I borrowed a bike from someone. It got me back on a bike since I was teenager. I ended up buying the bike from my friend,” he said. “It really wasn’t until 2013/2014 that I got a better bike and got more serious about riding.”
Hostetler explained that he and his family had been attending the church for several months before he learned about the bike team. He was doing a ride when he saw someone wearing a Summit Bike Team shirt and inquired about it.
“It was during the Tour de Lions for the Lions Club. I came up at an intersection and saw a guy that had a shirt that said Summit Church. I asked him about it and that’s how I got started with the group,” he said.
Hostetler explained that the group was started by founding members Mike Stratton and Bill Olson, who were both cycling enthusiasts who grew tired of other cycling groups that were too competitive and would drop people on rides.
He noted that the ages for the group rides range from 40s to 60s but they sometimes have people join them from other age groups. While a majority of the riders are men, Hostetler said they do have women join them from time-to-time as well.
Hostetler said they get together on Saturdays to ride and every other Thursday night they get together for more fellowship. Currently, they are doing a book study on “12 Ordinary Men.”
Along with riding together and having a fellowship of faith, The Summit Bike Team also supports a variety of groups and charities in the area. They have worked with the Kernersville Cycling Club to Adopt-a-Street, and have helped out at the Kernersville Mountain Bike Park.
“We like to be involved in anything that promotes activity and community,” he said.
They also enjoy participating in charity rides such as Bobby Labonte Foundation, Tour to Tanglewood, and have participated in rides to fight ALS.
“We raised about $4,000 for Tour to Tanglewood last year,” he said. “We also volunteer and serve every sixth Sunday to serve a meal at the Winston-Salem Salvation Army. “
Hostetler explained that their rides are “no drop” rides and they do their part to practice proper cycling etiquette.
“Our rides are no drop rides. There are places where people up front will pull away, but if there is a turn, everyone will stop. Normally we will go at the pace that the slowest rider wants to go,” he said. “It’s not about the miles or how fast we go, it’s about the fellowship.”
Hostetler said they stay off of extremely busy roads, sometimes riding with the Kernersville Cycling Club.
“When the weather warms, they usually do a Tuesday afternoon ride and we usually join up with them, and they ride with us on Saturdays. I am actually a member of the Kernersville Cycling Club as well,” he shared.
Hostetler said The Summit Bike Team rides usually have anywhere between four and 12 cyclists at a time and as many as 15 on a Saturday ride.
“We usually ride on Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. We have a couple of favored loops. We often do a loop and stop at Lake Thom-A-Lex. It’s a lake in Lexington. We like it because it has nice restroom facilities,” he said, noting that because the loop doesn’t have a lot of traffic and because of the restroom facilities, it is a very popular cycling stop.
Hostetler said they noticed after stopping at Lake Thom-A-Lex several times that they didn’t have a bike rack, so when The Summit Church had the Big Serve, they thought it would be a great idea to get the church to help them put a bike rack there for all of the cycling groups to use.
“The bike rack holds 36 bikes,” he said.
Hostetler explained that while there are other forms of exercise, he enjoys cycling the most.
“Both of my sons were competitive cross country and track runners,” he said, adding that he did some running at one point. “With running, unless you find a running partner that runs the exact pace that you like for an hour, which can be hard to find, it can get boring not having anyone to talk to. It’s different with cycling. If you find a nice country road, you can ride (side by side) and have a good hour conversation. That’s one of the things that I really love about cycling, and there are so many great people who like to cycle.”
Hostetler said cycling is a lot easier on his body as well.
“I love it. It makes me feel like a kid again,” he remarked.
Hostetler explained what he enjoys most about riding with The Summit Bike Team.
“We’ve all gotten closer as friends because we’ve shared things that are easy and hard. We’ve all had people yell at us on the bikes and we’ve been caught in rainstorms. We try to look at this as fitness related and being able to help other organizations as a way to give back,” he said. “We feel the Lord has grouped us together in something that we enjoy so much. It’s harder to ride in the winter time when we can’t get together, but we’ve had some warm days.”
Hostetler encourages others to join them on a ride.
“We want to let people know that if they are intimidated about being in a group ride or don’t have the right equipment, we don’t want them to feel that way. We invite people to come out. Everybody is welcome,” he remarked.

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