Husband and wife finish first in Hot Rocks Bike Ride

(ROCKWALL, TX — August 17, 2017) Mat and Lauren Stephens give a whole new meaning to the phrase “power couple.”

The two cyclists travel all over the country to compete in bike rides, and last weekend on August 12, they joined 950 total riders who participated in the 31st annual Hot Rocks Bike Ride. Finishing the 100k course in just over 2 hours, they each placed first in the men’s and women’s divisions of the race.

Like many of the riders, Mat and Lauren were returning participants. Mat, who has been racing for about 17 years total, won the men’s division in last year’s 100k, and Lauren, who has been racing for about 8 years total, has also been a Hot Rocks winner in previous years.

“We race professionally, and it is great to be home in the Dallas area to get to participate in something like this,” Lauren Stephens said.

Second place in the men’s division for Hot Rocks 2017 was awarded to Cesar Serna, and third place to Kyle Swanson. Second place in the women’s division was awarded to Donyelle Garcia, and third place to Kim Pettit.

Hot Rocks 2017 Coordinator Greg Blair said this year’s ride raised an estimated total of $45,000 for the Rockwall Noon Rotary Club scholarship fund. This money will directly benefit graduating seniors from Rockwall High School and Rockwall-Heath High School this May.

Blair said that overall, he heard positive feedback about the ride. However, the Rotary Club is aware of signage problems on the 100k course and plans to correct and clarify next year.

“The responses we heard from most riders is that they enjoyed the course and all the friendly people,” Blair said. “We know that good food at the end and energetic people at the rest stops were also positives. There were issues with directions on part of the course, which we will correct by next year. We welcome suggestions from any and all participants about how to make next year’s ride a better experience.”

All Hot Rocks participants received a free t-shirt and a free meal at the end of the ride, including sandwiches provided by Applebee’s, barbecue provided by Cendera Funding, and ice cream treats provided by Oak Farms Dairy.

Rest stops with plenty of food and water were located every 5-10 miles on the 100k course, and after the ride cyclists were asked to vote for the stop that was their favorite. This year the Londoner was voted the Best Rest Stop, and Toyota of Rockwall manned by Poetry Christian School was voted the second best stop.

Although Hot Rocks 2017 officially wrapped up last weekend, Rotary Club plans for 2018 are already underway.

Check out our photo gallery below of all the Hot Rocks 2017 action!

By Julie Anne White, Blue Ribbon News.

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