The Charity Ride

There is definitely no shortage of charity rides that take place around the world each year, and I have to say that the Team LIVESTRONG Challenge is a personal favorite.

One of our loyal Loving the Bike followers, Ashley Hill will be taking part in the LIVESTRONG Challenge in Philly on August 19th and she’s here to tell you a little more about her Charity Ride story.

The Charity Ride

by Ashley Hill

My second ever charity ride circa 2002.

I started watching Le Tour when I was a kid.  I watched it live in the mornings from ’99 till ’04, then we got satellite TV and no longer got OLN Versus NBC Sports Network.  Watching that much road racing made me want to get a road bike, which I found on the side of the road, for free.  Now I was able to ride further and faster than before, and then found a flyer for the Tour de Torrington (now Tour of the Litchfield Hills).

I did that ride, my first organized, charity and group ride, for 30 miles.  I had raised a couple hundred dollars for the American Cancer Society by knocking doors in the area.  I was hooked.  The next year found me riding a slightly lighter and faster bike (though too big for me).  I raised $300 and did the 50 mile ride, when I was 16.  I miss being able to climb like that.

For my birthday that year I received my first ever new road bike, and though I never did the TdT again, I did ride numerous Tour de Cures.  Around this time I started college and stopped riding (no idea why), so fast forward to a couple of years ago when I started riding again.  My first year back was painful, the first few rides were only a few miles long, and I was tired and sore after them.  I persisted and was back to my old self (plus top speed minus ability to climb).

LIVESTRONG and Team Fatty

Team Fatty jersey with LIVESTRONG Philly Challenge numbers.

In 2010 I joined LIVESTRONG and their Challenge ride near Philly, PA.  I had become an avid reader of FatCyclist.com, who is a LIVESTRONG advocate amongst many other things, and I wanted to become part of Team Fatty.  The ride I did was 70 miles, just about the longest ride I’d ever done, and it rained.  Oh boy did it rain.  I remember coming down a hill yelling “NO BRAKES” as I couldn’t see through my glasses.  The best part of the whole weekend was the people.  Team Fatty, and just about everyone else at the event, were so passionate about helping to fight cancer that once again, I was hooked.

Last year I did the ride again, raised $1000, rode the 70 miles (in the rain) and helped spread the Team Fatty message.  This year I’m hoping for better weather, and I’d like to ride the 100 mile route, but the goal is the same, raise $1000 and advocate for not only cancer research, but the funding of programs for those grappling with the disease today, and the effects of surviving it.  I’ve had several friends deal with it in the past few years and unfortunately there will be more.  I don’t know a single person who hasn’t been affected in some way by it.  It’s my own peace of mind to know that LIVESTRONG would be there for me.

This was my history of not only LIVESTRONG, but charity rides in general, what’s yours?

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