Cross-country ride benefits Derry Rail Trail
By HUNTER McGEE
Union Leader Correspondent | August 08. 2014 7:26PM
Derry cyclist Tom Betrand, left, is interviewed by Timothy Meinch, with the Des Moines Register, during RAGRABI, a bicycle festival that drew some 15,000 cyclists in Iowa. Betrand had a set of deer antlers that he had bought in Wyoming strapped to the back of his bike. (COURTESY)
Derry residents Kevin Kopetz and Tom Bertrand and their friend Peter VanNuland left from Seattle in late June and are scheduled to pedal into Derry Sunday afternoon, said Mark Connors, vice president of the Rail Trail Alliance.
Kopetz and Betrand, who are both 2010 Pinkerton Academy graduates, developed the idea for the bike trip to help fund the completion of the Derry Rail Trail, part of the larger envisioned Granite State Rail Trail, Connors said
“The rail trail and the town of Derry are working in partnership; these guys just kind of contacted us,” Connors said.
They established a goal of raising $5,000, and a website was set up for donations, Connors said. So far, they have raised about $2,500.
“It was a big, kind of moving party on bikes,” Connors said. “It was a nice way to break up the ride.”
They’ve also had to deal with some powerful storms along the way, but fortunately the trip has been fairly uneventful, Connors said. They have maintained a good pace, he added.
If everything goes as planned, they should pull into downtown Derry at about 2 p.m. The public is invited to attend a reception that will be held at the trail head kiosk, which is located just off Broadway, behind Sabatino’s North Restaurant, Connors said.