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First-time poker run to aid only county bike trail



IF YOU GO What: The White River State Trail Poker Run 2010 When: Saturday, June 5, from 8 a.m. to noon. Where: Participants will bike the more than 11-mile trail either starting in Burlington or Elkhorn, and travel through Lyons and Springfield. Cards will be drawn at stops along the way in Lyons, Springfield, Bowers Road, an Elkhorn parking lot on Highway NN and where MacLean Road crosses the trail. Those with the best hands will win various, donated prizes. Cost: $10 entry fee. Plus, Springfield's Pedal &Cup, 1722 Highway 120, will provide hot dogs and lemonade for $3 after the run. There also will be live music at the Pedal & Cup. Why: All proceeds go toward the White River State Trail, specifically to finish the Burlington end of the trail. Who: The event is held by the White River Cycle Club.
May 26, 2010 | 09:17 AM
Lyons - Springfield — What Bob Nold cherishes about the White River State Trail is the memories he makes with fellow bicyclists, the 500 miles of exercise it gave him last year and that he had a hand in its development.

Today, the more than 11-mile trail is used for walking dogs, jogging, biking, snowmobiling and horseback riding in Lyons and Springfield. It runs from Elkhorn to Burlington and remains the only trail of its kind in Walworth County. But before 2003, it didn't even exist.

The White River Cycle Club, of which Nold is a member, was just a group of bike enthusiasts looking for a place to ride.

"The bike club eight years ago was instrumental in getting this trail in and pushing for it," he said.

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But it's not quite complete, Nold said.

"On the Burlington end of the trail, it needs more limestone put down," he said. "Usually, this type of trail requires two layers to be put down, but there's only one layer at that end. We don't know if the money ran out or if it was a mistake but we want to raise money to get it done."

That's why the White River Cycle Club will host a Poker Run Saturday, June 5, for the first time. Nold said it was his idea for the local area, but he copied it from a similar event he attended in Illinois. They used the funds raised from the event to maintain the trail.

Nold said he hopes this event will become an annual tradition that will keep the trail in top shape.

Starting at 8 a.m., the event features five checkpoints along the trail where participants will draw a card to make up a poker hand.

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Anything from a pair to a royal flush will qualify for about 30 donated prizes, Nold said.

Examples of the prizes include kayaking rentals valued at $100 and gift certificates for Daddy Maxwell's in Williams Bay among other restaurants.

"We have a bunch of prizes, so I'd imagine people will have a very good chance of winning a prize," he said.

He said participants are allowed to start at either end of the trail, and checkpoints will be located in Lyons, Springfield, Bowers Road, an Elkhorn parking lot on Highway NN and where MacLean Road crosses the trail as well.

The Poker Run will end at noon, but that doesn't mean it's time to go home.

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Nold said after the run, Springfield's Pedal & Cup, 1722 Highway 120, will be selling hot dogs and lemonade for $3 — proceeds of which will be donated to the trail. There also will be live music.

"I'm figuring we'll need between $1,000 to $1,500," Nold said. "It's only the first year, but we've advertised quite a bit from Lake Geneva, to Williams Bay, Elkhorn, Twin Lakes and Waterford. If we could have around 100 riders, that'd be fantastic. I think it'll just be fun, and a good time for everyone involved."

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