Bike tour honors quiet, generous leader

(From left) Mike Syfert, Jerri Syfert, Amanda Ferguson, and Christy Syfert head out on the Prairie Grass Trail in London as participants in the 5th Annual David Flowers Memorial Bike Tour.

(Posted Sept. 18, 2023)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

It was a beautiful morning for a bike ride. The skies were clear, and the temperature was crisp but comfortable.

A food truck serving coffee was percolating in the parking lot. At the shelter house, volunteers were laying out t-shirts and medals and taking registrations. Not far away, more volunteers were setting up a face-painting station and scoping out a spot for a photo booth. All the while, people were pulling in with bicycles in or attached to their vehicles.

It was the start of the 5th Annual David Flowers Memorial Bike Tour, held Sept. 16 on the Prairie Grass Trail in London. The start/finish line was located at the trailhead behind the Madison County Senior Center. Participants chose from 10-, 20-, and 30-mile distances for the out-and-back ride.

Dustin Maddolin and Aaron Ansel prepare their bikes for the 5th Annual David Flowers Memorial Bike Tour. Flowers was Ansel’s father-in-law.

Organizer Penny Flowers welcomed riders to the event which honors her late husband who passed away in a car accident in 2018. David Flowers had been a pastor at London Grace. He was known for his quiet leadership, humor, and love of sports.

“He just was a giving person, and he was all about family,” Penny said.

Penny chose to honor David’s memory with a bike tour because he had started riding with his sons-in-law as a way to bond with them and encourage them. She chose to commit the tour’s proceeds to a college scholarship because David had been looking to get his degree in ministry.

“We want to help others be able to achieve what he could not,” she said.

Along with her family members and other volunteers, Penny recognized the bike tour’s first scholarship recipient at the start of this year’s tour. Abbey Patterson, a London High School graduate, is putting the $1,000 award to use as a freshman majoring in education at Cedarville University.

Participants in the David Flowers Memorial Bike Tour pray for Abbey Patterson (center), the first recipient of a scholarship funded by proceeds from the tour. Abbey will be a freshman at Cedarville University this fall. She is a London High School graduate.

Penny said that in the coming years she hopes to add a second charitable component to the tour, dedicating some of the proceeds to helping families with multiple children cover registration for youth sports.

“It can be expensive if you have more than one kid involved,” Penny said.

The bike tour takes place the third Saturday of September, putting it near David’s birthday (Sept. 17). For more information or to make a donation to the David Flowers Memorial Scholarship Fund, visit

Members of the Flowers family pose for a group photo at the start of the David Flowers Memorial Bike Tour. David’s wife established the annual tour to honor the memory of her late husband who died in a car accident in 2018. Proceeds go to the David Flowers Memorial Scholarship Fund.
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