Coming up on September 19, 2015 is Lorie’s Lakeside Century, the annual cycling event put on in memory of Lorie Kirkley, a cardiac rehab nurse with Porter Health Care System who lost her life to a violent crime in 1999. Lorie was an avid cyclist, and participated in this event when it was called Casual Coast and Country.
The ride has been going for the last 25 years, and in 2008 it came into the capable hands of the Visiting Nurses Association of Porter County, a nonprofit organization established in 1970 which provides health and social services to individuals who are disabled, chronically or terminally ill, or are recovering in the familiar environment of their homes. The services include: hospice care, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, Meals on Wheels, companion homemaker, medical social services, bereavement support, usage of the Phoenix Center, and Lifeline.
“This ride is a nice way to remember Lorie,” Maria Galka, Vice President of Development for the VNA of Porter County said. “We usually have between 500 and 600 riders and almost half of the people who participate come from outside of the tri-county area. We have repeat riders and new ones come join all the time. It’s really a site to see.”
Proceeds from the ride benefit the VNA of Porter County so the organization can continue to provide the aforementioned services to those in need.
Ride day begins at 7am with a hearty AYCE pancake breakfast for only $6 at the ride HQ, Liberty Bible Church, 824 North Calumet Avenue in Chesterton, and lunch is also provided (price included in registration). Riders get the choice to ride 26, 39, 62, 75, of the full 100 mile ride through lovely towns, farmlands, along the shores of Lake Michigan, and other breathtaking scenery.
There are multiple SAG stops every 12-18 miles at Lakeview Overlook, Jackson Elementary School, Firefly Farm, and the Lions Pavilion in New Buffalo. Riders get to take the same route that Lorie did all those years ago. Some SAG stops will have live entertainment!
People can ride individually or join a team and everyone who rides MUST wear a helmet. The event ends at 5pm that same day with participants ending their ride back at Liberty Bible Church. Showers and massages are available to riders who want to refresh after the long ride.
“We’re looking for volunteers, too,” Lorie said. “It’s an entirely volunteer-run event and we have a lot of fun. Anyone who volunteers gets a free t-shirt and free breakfast or lunch.”
Volunteers are needed at the SAG stops, to paint routs, to drive support vehicles, packet prep, cooking, and more. There is something for everyone! To find out how to become a volunteer or for more information on Lorie’s Lakeside Century, call Maria Galka of the VNA of Porter County at 219-531-8078.
- Bring lots of cold water.
- STAY HYDRATED.
- Wear bike shorts. It’s not required but a very good idea.
- Ride with a buddy or group. The scenery is nicer when you get to share the experience with someone.
- In case of emergency during the ride, call 219-246-2033.
- Don’t text and ride.