Geocaching event to be in memory of biker

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Geocaching event to be in memory of biker

Postby TeamMina » Wed 2009-06-03, 11:48:41

By Dan Cherry
Daily Telegram
Wed May 13, 2009, 05:30 PM EDT

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CAMBRIDGE TWP., Mich. -
Calling all geocachers: Hayes State Park is gearing up for its third annual “Lazy Hayes Days III� geocaching event the weekend.

The outdoor treasure hunting program is in cooperation with “Team Rod and Tod,� a local geocaching group. The effort is being spearheaded by Rodney Holbrook in memory of his former geocaching teammate Tod Phillips, who was killed in a motorcycle crash Aug. 12 in Franklin Township.

Admission to the park is $6 for a motor vehicle permit.

Team Rod and Tod has placed 25 new caches at Hayes State Park for 2009, Holbrook said. The caches will remain in the park all season for geocachers of all ages to find.

“Tod was an avid motorcycle and geocaching enthusiast,� Holbrook said. “He will be missed this weekend, but I know he will be there in spirit.�

Hayes State Park is hosting the geocaching event as part of the Michigan state parks’ efforts to encourage people to participate in outdoor activities.

After campers check in to their campsites Friday, there will be a 7 p.m. hot dog roast and campfire social at the campground activity area.

The fireside chat will provide an opportunity for people to reminisce about Phillips, Holbrook said.

Saturday’s activities begin at noon at the park beach, followed by a silent auction at 1 p.m. and a cook-off at 2. The day ends with dinner at 5 p.m. There will be geocaching events throughout the day, with prizes awarded to the winners. There also will be a night cache Saturday at Ramsdell Park in Rollin Township. A Sunday morning community breakfast will round out the weekend activities.

More than 500 tribute coins have been manufactured for the weekend event, Holbrook said. The coin has Tod’s picture on one side and bike safety tips on the other.

“Everything we raise from the sale of the coins will go toward school, drivers education and safety organizations,� Holbrook said.

Additionally, Holbrook said, funds are expected to be put toward a billboard rental near the accident site to help promote awareness about bicycle and motorcycle safety.

A representative of a local group promoting motorcycle awareness spoke last month to the Lenawee County Commission about the issue.

Harold Brier of Raisin Township, a member of a regional chapter of American Bikers Aiming Towards Education, said in 82 percent of all car-motorcycle crashes, the cause is negligence on the part of the automobile driver.

“In almost every case the driver’s response is, ‘I didn’t see the motorcycle,’ � Brier said.

Brier said efforts to make drivers more aware of motorcycles also benefit pedestrians, joggers and bicyclists who return to the roadways as the weather improves.

Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land recently announced May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Michigan, and interest in motorcycling continues to grow among all demographics, she said in a news release.

Land said it is important for riders to equip themselves with the proper training, gear and a motorcycle endorsement before taking to the streets.

“Operating a motorcycle requires a combination of skills, experience, dexterity and control,� Land said. “Proper safety gear and choosing a motorcycle suited to you in size and power is critical to safe riding.�

Statistics for 2007-08 indicate that while traffic fatalities decreased from 1,084 to 980, motorcycle deaths increased from 124 to 127.

In Michigan, all motorcycle drivers must take a knowledge test and successfully complete a safety class or a skills test with a third-party testing organization before a motorcycle endorsement is issued. A safety course is required for 16- and 17-year-olds as well as for adults who fail the rider skills test twice.

More than 30,000 residents are expected to attend motorcycle training or go through a third-party skills test this year, according to a state news release.

For more information about the weekend geocaching event, contact Holbrook at roddyville65@comcast.net.

For more information about the park or accessibility, call 467-7401.

Daily Telegram staff writer Dennis Pelham contributed to this report.
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