Four-year-old Arden Sorensen was at the tail end of the bicyclists in the three-mile category at the Kellen Lund Memorial Bike Ride Saturday.
He was one of the youngest bicyclists, and unlike many others, this was the first time he participated at the bike ride. He had his troubles. Unable to balance, he got off his bike and walked it along for a while, looking a bit bewildered.
Then he got back on, and with determination, he moved forward.
“I’m going, I’m going, ” he said with elation.
Arden’s determination was symbolic of many youngsters who took part in the memorial ride, which began three years ago, shortly after 9-year-old Kellen was killed after being struck by a truck while he was walking his bike near the northside viaduct.
Youngsters arrived at the memorial ride early to get their bikes inspected by volunteers who wanted to ensure that the bikes would withstand the rides — 3, 5 or 10 miles, depending on their bicycling expertise.
As preparations were under way, young people came up to a banner on the Pepin Park gazebo that read “Wish you were here. ” The banner was filled with pictures of Kellen.
Many of the youngsters said they remembered Kellen and planned to continue riding in his honor.
The community’s heart was broken after Kellen’s death, and the organizers decided that rather than mourn in private, it was best for young people to come together and do something positive. The bike ride was designed to teach youngsters and drivers the basics of safety and to raise funds for an arts scholarship.
Havre police officers gave safety tips to the youngsters, and were stationed at the corners, blocking traffic so bicyclists could pass.
Hill County Search and Rescue were standing by in case of problems. There were none. First Aid volunteers were on hand to help with minor problems.
As the ride began, shortly after 10:30 a. m., the bicyclists took off.
Youngsters cheered as they took off. Some parents toted their young children in carts behind their bicycles.