May 6, 2013

ride for kids...

this weekend was a busy 'giving' weekend... saturday we participated in the arthritis foundation's triangle area walk in support of my wife. it was colder than we expected and the sun never quite came out. we had the option of a one-mile or three-mile route and my wife chose the longer route - she's so awesome! we had a lot of fun.

yesterday my son and i took part in the triangle area ride for kids with our club...

the day started early, overcast and cold. what better way to kick off the day than with a hearty breakfast from waffle house?? we even talked my wife into joining us - which was even a better start to the day.

after breakfast it was time to head to jordan lake for the ride. we were meeting up with the rest of the club outside the park and had about an hour ahead of us. luckily it was early enough so we didn't have to deal with traffic. and although we were prepared for colder weather, it didn't feel as cold as we were expecting.

we met up with the rest of the club, topped off tanks, emptied bladders and headed to the park. i'm not sure how many years they've been doing they ride but they are very organized. as we pulled into the lot, they lined us up to make exiting for the ride much easier. as we got off the bikes, volunteers were nearby to have us sign waivers and get wristbands. then it was to the top of the hill to register for the event, get another wristband, a t-shirt and register for prizes - which we didn't win!

then it was time to enjoy some breakfast of donuts, biscuits, coffee and hot chocolate while visiting vendors. of course the geico gecko was there. geico was also giving out fake one hundred dollar bills. alex and i took the opportunity to drop a couple on the ground and watch unsuspecting people go from excitement to disappointed as they discovered the bills weren't real.

we milled around while we waited for the ride to begin.

listened to a story from a mom about her thirteen year old son about their battle with a brain tumor. i don't think anyone in the crowd had dry eyes as she told of their trials.

then it was time to head out for the ride...

we went on a nice fifty mile ride around chatham country. of all the group rides i've been on, this was the latest outside of rolling thunder. and probably one of the most impressive moments of the ride was making the round-about in pittsboro. as we approached the courthouse, the lead bikes had already looped around and were heading towards us. we were surrounded by bikes. then we went around the courthouse and started heading away from the courthouse. as far as we could see in front of us were bikes on both lanes - those heading towards the courthouse and those that had already been around. it was quite a site!

after riding around the beautiful countryside, it was back to jordan lake to celebrate with the 'stars.' the 'stars' are the kids that have battled and/or are currently battling brain tumors. it very touching to hear their stories in their own words.

to top things off, greg white, from greg's garage tv, was on-hand to document the event. and he asked alex if he would mind being interviewed. of course he didn't mind. now we'll have to be on the lookout to see if he actually makes the cut!!

it was quite a day and quite a ride! i wasn't sure what to expect but it blew my expectations away. so much so that i'm already looking forward to next year. what really impressed me about the ride for kids is how the 'stars' are an integral part of the event. most of the other charity rides i've been on, money is raised for a cause and donated to the cause. but the people that we're benefiting aren't part of the event. at ride for kids, the 'stars' are there and involved in the ride. it's nice to have them there and know who you're helping. i was talking to one of the organizers and she was saying the ride also gives the 'stars' strength to know there is a large community there to support them. so it's not just about giving money to help fund research, it's also being there to show support.

i can't wait for next year...