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Folks on Spokes brings Elburn community together

ELBURN – The Elburn Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with Da Capo Music of Elburn, held its second annual Folks on Spokes fundraising event Sept. 18.

Community members gathered at Kaneland Blackberry Creek Elementary School to participate in one of the three bike rides available.

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“We came up with the idea for Folks on Spokes for multiple reasons,” Ben Westfall, owner of Da Capo Music Studio said. “It’s a fun event, it promotes the goodwill of Elburn businesses by raising money to donate, and we are avid bike riders ourselves.”

Last year, Folks on Spokes worked to raise money to donate to the PTOs at both Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School and Blackberry Creek Elementary School. Westfall estimates about $1,000 was raised through the event last year.

“Each school got about $500 and then some money was used to put a bike rack up by Paisano’s Pizza [off Main Street in Elburn],” Westfall said.

This year, all money raised will be donated to the Kaneland High School marching band. With close to 200 members, the marching band is a focal point for the community, and Folks on Spokes desired to show its appreciation for all they do.

Three different bike routes were available, depending on age and intensity desired. There was a 2.5-mile route, which Westfall deemed perfect for small children, an 8-mile route and a 10-mile route. All of the bike routes began and ended at Blackberry Creek Elementary School, located at 1122 Anderson Road.

“Elburn is a unique city because you can access any part of the town by bike. We think that’s a very special part of the town,” Westfall said. “A lot of people last year [who participated in Folks on Spokes] didn’t realize how far you could get around here by bike.”

Westfall said the longer rides go from Kaneland Blackberry Creek Elementary School to Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School, located at 817 Prairie Valley St., Elburn. It is these routes that offer a tour of Elburn, showcasing the schools, residential areas and even the train station.

In its premiere year, Folks on Spokes proved to be a success, and that trend carried onto the second year as well. Countless community members gathered at Kaneland Blackberry Creek Elementary School, bikes in tow, in order to raise money for the marching band.

Elburn resident Dawn Turner said this year was her first time participating. She and her friend Tracey Kloskowksi ride bikes together regularly.

"[Tracey] has a daughter in the band at Kaneland," Turner said.

People of all ages gathered for this event, even young children. Connor Anderson of Elburn participated in Folks on Spokes alongside his dad. Together, the two completed the 10-mile bike ride. Westfall is Anderson’s guitar teacher.

“I just hope to have a nice ride and be safe,” Connor Anderson said of the event.

Although final facts and figures are still being calculated, Westfall estimates the event this year raised more than $1,000. All money is raised through registration fees. Although being able to help such a great cause is one of Westfall’s favorite parts of Folks on Spokes, he said there’s a lot more to love about the event.

“I can go on a bike ride any day of the year, but there’s something special about going with a group of other people that gives you a sense of small-town pride,” Westfall said.