The ‘On to Bellefontaine’ Challenge

I’m going to pick up with this post where I left off with the last – the fact that the Simon Kenton Trail bike path has proven to be a valuable asset for introducing bicyclists to Champaign County and Urbana, Ohio – from the south.

Now plans are under way to extend the trail so it also will serve as a gateway to Champaign County from the north.

Simon Kenton Pathfinders annual Ruth I. Bentley Memorial Ride

Berrie Bentley, at left, begins the Ruth I. Bentley Memorial Ride on Sunday.

Sunday’s annual Simon Kenton Pathfinders’ ride, the Ruth I. Bentley Memorial Ride, raised money toward the northward extension—first from the Urbana Station Depot on Miami Street to Urbana’s northern corporation limit by Grimes Field airport, then eventually to West Liberty and Bellefontaine.

Barrie Bentley of Dayton, the son of Mrs. Bentley, was one of the riders in Sunday’s fund-raiser. And just prior to the ride, he pledged to donate $1 for every $3 the Simon Kenton Pathfinders raise through June 1, 2011 – up to $20,000.

He’s calling his pledge the “On to Bellefontaine Challenge.”  And he’s making the challenge to honor the memory of his parents, Ruth I. and Alvie A. Bentley, who were cycling enthusiasts.

He explains, “The ‘On to Bellefontaine Challenge’ arises out of my desire to perpetuate and preserve the ‘can do’ spirit that my parents demonstrated throughout their lives…. They were a very dynamic team.

“I have seen this same ‘can do’ spirit in the collective actions of the Simon Kenton Pathfinders…. I am positive that the trail will be completed in the not too distant future.”

Nancy Lokai-Baldwin, president of the Simon Kenton Pathfinders, rides with her husband, Frank, in Urbana's Springfest Parade in May, in celebration of National Bike Month.

That “can do” spirit is clearly evident in Nancy Lokai-Balwin, Mr. Bentley’s cousin, and president of the Simon Kenton Pathfinders since she and other volunteers  founded the organization in 1997 with the vision to give old railroad beds a new purpose.

All monies raised by SKP, through June 1, will count toward Mr. Bentley’s pledge, including:

  • Money collected through fund-raisers. Watch the Pathfinders’ website for information about fund-raising events.
  • Honorary deeds sold by the Pathfinders at $5 per foot of the planned trail extension. Deeds will be on sale at a variety of events in the community.
  • Tax deductible contributions made to the Simon Kenton Pathfinders, P.O. Box 91, Urbana. SKP is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Plus, you’re welcome to become a Pathfinder and attend meetings at 7 p.m. the first Thursday of each month in the Urbana Station Depot, 644 Miami St., in Urbana.


  1. Thank you! :) I can’t wait to ride my bike on the path from West Liberty!

  2. I’m looking forward to the ride from Springfield to Bellefontaine !! Go for it!

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