I’ve pedaled a lot of miles in my 20-plus years of riding since rediscovering the sport.
So many, in fact, I may actually break down and buy my second pair of cycling shoes soon. (I’m on my fourth bike.)
But I’ve only been cheered to a finish line once. That was a few years ago as I completed the American Cancer Society’s Endure Ride.
While it certainly was a much smaller reception than the one that typically greets a pro peloton, it was kind of fun to have a few people cheer me on as I cruised to finish line along River Street in Wilkes-Barre.
If you think you would like to experience the same thing, while raising money for a worthy cause, Brian McQuestion has good news for you.
Even with next Sunday’s event just one week away, there is still plenty of time to sign up for the sixth annual edition of the ride, according to McQuestion, the event’s volunteer coordinator.
“We even have day-of-the-event registration,” said McQuestion, although he added that its better to register beforehand at acsendure.org.
The event has three different course options - 10 miles, 36 miles and 62 miles. The rides will feature fully-stocked rest stops, rider support, repair and first-aid patrols, and even a SAG wagon for those riders that bit off a little more than they could chew.
“Safety is our No. 1 priority,” McQuestion said.
All three rides start and finish on Wilkes University’s campus.
The cost per rider is $45 for adults and $20 for cyclists under 16. Riders can also raise additional funds from family and friends by using the Endure website.
After the ride, a closing festival with food, refreshments and live music will be held.
If you just want to help out, you can become a volunteer by going to the event’s website.
McQuestion said he expects the total funds raised from the event to top $200,000 once this year’s totals are added in.
It’s a number that McQuestion is proud of because the event is one that is close to his heart.
“Last June I celebrated the 10th anniversary of my last chemotherapy session,” said the cancer survivor.
“(The ride) is definitely important to me. It’s a chance to celebrate life, raise awareness about cancer and raise some money so we can find a cure for this disease.”
Zbiek at it again
What’s a cancer fundraising bike ride without our old friend Paul Zbiek?
If you are not familiar with Zbiek, he’s an ultramarathon cyclist with a knack for fundraising.
He will use next Sunday’s Endure Ride to kick off his third annual metric millennium, a phrase Zbiek credits me with coining. The King’s College geography professor will ride 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) over six days.
For each kilometer Zbiek cycles, the Brandon J. Case Memorial fund will donate $1 to the American Cancer Society.