By Ruth Filz
On Saturday, February 25th, the Henry Roberts Memorial 32nd Annual Jalapeno 100 bike ride took place in Harlingen. It is a fun ride benefiting the Harlingen Boys & Girls Club. For the last few years, the ride has seen over 500 riders from across the state and the country, as well as from Canada and Mexico.
Palm Gardens RV Park in Harlingen has been involved with the ride since 2000 when three couples – Gerry & Pat Bradley, Buzz & Vonnie Jones, and Boyd & Marge Mallot – started sponsoring a rest stop for riders. The park has continued sponsoring a rest stop ever since. In 2009 Russ Manhard took over chairing the rest stop for our park. Through the years, riders and our rest stop volunteers have formed many friendships.
Riders always comment on the great food and warm welcome they receive at the Palm Gardens rest stop. Who can blame them.
The week before the race, residents are busy saving pickle juice and baking cookies to supplement the hot dogs, fruit, ice cream, water and other goodies at the stop. This is made possible through generous donations from park residents, park management, and local businesses.
On Saturday, we were happy to provide food and a place to rest for approximately 300 riders. The park has won the award for the best rest top several times over the years.
In addition, to having a rest stop, the park also has several riders who take part in the ride. Dale Aalderink has taken part in the ride for the past 14 years. This year his rider number was 86, which also happens to match his age. Dale rode 50 miles in this year’s event.