Friday, April 11, 2014

New Challenges, Updates

Sometimes things don't work out like you planned... but they open the doors to other opportunities.

In January, I made the tough decision not to ride this year's PMC. Our family connection to cancer has been devastating -- with the loss of close family members and friends -- and I've been proud of my long involvement with the PMC, and grateful for the support I've received. What started as a grass-roots charity ride has grown into a phenomena, with over 10,000 people riding or volunteering during the course of the weekend, and corporate sponsorships building it into one of the most successful fundraisers in the country. This year, without a doubt, the PMC will meet it's $40 million weekend goal, and I'm so proud of the riders and volunteers who will make it happen.

Last year, the Undefeated EOD Ride raised $320,000 for our wounded EOD warriors, and it was a BIG DEAL. (Just a drop in the bucket by PMC standards -- but so immensely important to our wounded veteran's and families in need of support.) It made me think about the smaller charities who are overshadowed by the big guys, (the Pan Mass Challenge).

As January rolled around, and ride commitments were being made, I planned to join the Undefeated EOD Ride one more time for our wounded service members. That ride, and the friends I made, grabbed a piece of my heart that will always be theirs. We've stayed in touch since last Fall and made plans to ride together in October, but fate has altered the plan a little. Deployments and active duty assignments have pushed this year's ride to 2015, so tackling Torrey Pines together will have to wait another year.

With the Undefeated EOD Ride postponed, I considered riding the PMC, but really want to shift my focus to the little rides -- The charity events that don't receive as much media attention and find support harder to find. (The Harpoon Point to Point and Ride for Angels will be two of them.)


I'll also be heading back to California in September -- this time for the Canary Challenge, which raises money for cancer research at The Canary Center at Stanford, (the same way the PMC does for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.)  My VanderkittenVIP teammates will ride the challenge together, with several of the Vanderkitten Pro riders leading the way. (Vanderkitten is committed to the Canary Foundation's mission and will be a strong presence at this year's event.) I'm so excited to be joining them and will post more info about the ride this summer.

I know from the EOD Ride that those California hills can be tough -- So I have some training to do -- and with RAAM keeping me off the bike for much of June, Shayne will have his work cut out for him in creating a training plan that will help me tackle Kings Mountain Road with the pros.

Summer can't come soon enough!