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Fort Scott family serves as stop along Race Across America - KOAM TV 7

Fort Scott family serves as stop along Race Across America

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FORT SCOTT, KANSAS -

For the Ashwill family of Fort Scott, Kan., June brings much excitement.

The Ashwill family serves as a "time station" along the coast-to-coast route in America's most grueling bicycle race: Race Across America.

"It's like our vacation, to my kids, this is their Christmas. They rate this one higher up than Christmas," Martin Hudecek-Ashwill said.

The Ashwills designate this week to provide food, water, showers, rest and morale boost to the 83 competitors competing in the race and their crews. Most time stations are in parking lots or McDonald's restaurants, so the Ashwill's home makes for a more comfortable stop. Bikers rate Ashwill's stop among their favorites due to another factor: Ashwill's children and neighborhood kids greet the bikers as they roll in. 

"We raided them with kids back in 2014 and it just started clicking as a favorite," Hudecek-Ashwill said.

The race began in California and ends in Maryland. Individual bikers have 12 days to make it coast-to-coast, while teams have 9 days. Stefan Schlegel, a German biker, stopped at Ashwill's home for some rest and recuperation. Many bikers were challenged by the Rocky Mountains, but Schlegel's team trudges onward. A race crew team of 12 follow Schlegel and monitor his energy intake and expenditure.

"The crew behind the rider is the heart of the race so we're switching with each other and supporting Stefan with everything. It's a tough job, you have to secure his life," crew chief Jonas Kraienhorst said.

It's meeting and spending time with teams like Schlegel's that the Ashwills love about being "time station 30".

"We've got lifetime friends in Denmark, Germany, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, you just pick up all these friends from all over the place. We're constantly Facebooking these people over and over. It's the thrill of getting to know people internationally," Hudecek-Ashwill said.

To track the bikers including Schlegel, visit http://raceacrossamerica.org/live-tracking.html.

Many bikers will be passing through Yates Center and Fort Scott over the next few days.


 

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