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Family Tradition That Keeps on Rolling

Gittemeier+and+her+mom+posing+for+a+picture+in+front+of+one+of+the+trail+heads.+Photo+provided+by+Genevieve+Gittemeier.+
Gittemeier and her mom posing for a picture in front of one of the trail heads. Photo provided by Genevieve Gittemeier.

Gittemeier and her mom posing for a picture in front of one of the trail heads. Photo provided by Genevieve Gittemeier.

Gittemeier and her mom posing for a picture in front of one of the trail heads. Photo provided by Genevieve Gittemeier.

Sydney Stahlschmidt, Staff Writer

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Most people are cooling off at the pool or vacationing at the lake on Labor Day weekend. However, this is not the case for junior, Genevieve Gittemeier.
Every Labor Day weekend Gittemeier and ten other family and friends, go on a 145 mile bike trip from Columbia, Mo to St. Charles.
The trip in total takes a time span of two days. The first day from Columbia to Hermann, a whole 80 miles. The second day, starting at 6 in the morning, an overall 65 miles from Hermann to St Charles. The trip along the Katy Trail the entire ride.
“We stop at each trail head, and we would take a lot of breaks” Gittemeier said.
While, Gittemeier only started doing the trip with her family around age 10, the tradition started many years before she was even born.
“My dad really likes biking, and so do my grandpa and Uncle Jo, so they all just said, let’s start this tradition,” Gittemeier said.
Gittemeier has been taking part in the trip for about seven out of the 15 years that it has been going on. But she always made sure to take part in the event and do as much to help as possible to help out. Whether it is driving in the car with her grandpa, or meeting the family at the end of the trail heads, she enjoyed getting involved.
“I remember just helping out along the way to make sure that everyone and everything was okay when I wasn’t aloud to bike yet,” Gittemeier said.
While the trip is 145 miles for Gittemeier and most family members, others including her father, uncle, great uncle, and some cousins ride even more. Their trip is a total of 257 miles in three days.
“Some of them who don’t want to ride a lot of miles, will drive and meet us as we are biking into St. Charles and will ride again with us” Gittemeier said.
Gittemeier, who currently lives in St. Louis instead of Columbia still hopes to continue the tradition. Along with many other family members who also live in St. Louis who join in on the trip annually.
“Family who doesn’t live in Columbia, because a lot of us live in St. Louis, drive down to Columbia and bike back up to St. Charles,” Gittemeier said.
Over the many years the trip has gone on, everyone continues to have fun and make new memories along the way.
“20 miles into the trip one year, I crashed after my mom showed me that there was an eagle. That was probably the most memorable thing that happened,” Gittemeier said.
Gittemeier has always enjoyed taking part in the event ever since a young age.
“We still do the event and plan on doing it for every year from now” Gittemeier said.

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Family Tradition That Keeps on Rolling