MEERS, OK (KSWO) -Cyclists rode their way around the scenic Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge this morning in the annual Tour De Meers bike ride.
This event is the Meers Volunteer Fire Departments biggest fundraiser to help pay for their equipment trucks, gear and their building. Each rider pays an entry fee and can choose between routes ranging from 10 miles to 63 miles, and a 6 mile kids' route.
It's because of events like this, the Meers Fire Department can do their job and buy the things they need.
"Everything you see behind me, our building, our trucks, everything, is a result of the fundraiser and we could not keep our doors open. We could not respond the way we do without funding" said former fire chief, Bill Cunningham.
Cunningham says it's because of the community, they were able to raise about $18,000 last year to help repair their building after a tornado swept through the area.
"They love us. We love them. They love this beautiful scenery out here and so we want everyone to have a safe and excellent ride," said Cunningham.
Over 600 people from the community and all over the country pedaled the distance to give back.
"This is a great cause. These guys out here are some of the best fire fighters and they're all volunteers," said John Bridges.
Bridges said this event has been on his calendar for 3 years and will be next year as well.
"It's great exercise, a way to stay healthy but the big one is supporting the different organizations that help so many people all over the state," said Bridges.
"The participants, the riders have counted this among their bucket list to do. It's a must do route. Every year we're trying to listen to their feedback and make it better," said Cunningham.
To register for the 28th annual Tour De Meers bike ride next year, visit www.TourDemeers.org.