I love to ride. Up or down, all-in or cruise, solo or or group riding or going out for ice cream with my family – I love it all. But my very favorite thing about cycling is the opportunity I have to make a difference in another person’s life with every ride.
Three years ago, I joined Team Cycle4Cure. We’re a local group of like-minded local cyclists who are passionate about riding in general, but we especially love to ride for a purpose. We enjoy riding long distances in order to raise funds to fight debilitating and life-threatening diseases. We know many people who suffer with cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and other serious diseases. We hold each person afflicted with these diseases in our hearts as we ride, praying for them and dedicating the journey to them.
Team member Rob Bateman sums it up like this: “I enjoy riding with a team that wants to make a difference in the lives of others. It impresses me that a group of people at all different levels of ability would start an event with prayer for those who are afflicted and would dedicate their exertions to finding a cure for the illnesses of others. This takes something that we all love to do (cycling) and gives it meaning beyond self.”
We lost Rob to a sudden heart attack in the fall of 2015, making the time we spent together on the team all the more special.
It can be easy for to underestimate the impact that Team C4C’s simple encouragements can make in the lives of those we ride for. I wonder, “how much good can my little acts of support do for my friends who are fighting uphill battles against cancer and other serious diseases?”
And then I hear the stories from those whose spirits were lifted and who had a little more energy to fight another day because of the big hearts of Team Cycle 4 Cure. My friend Tom is fighting hard against melanoma and as he was reflecting on Team C4C he shared that “knowing C4C is riding for me is incredible; they have been a huge encouragement through a pretty difficult time. Having a group of people who are thinking about me, praying for me, and standing behind me, provides a huge boost emotionally and that gives me the courage needed to keep my chin up and push on! Team C4C is making a difference.”
It’s easy to turn every ride into something even more special. Here are a few ways to get started:
- When researching organized events, look for rides that benefit causes you care about. Opportunities abound to have your entry fee and even fundraising dollars benefit great charities. Pro tip: Moxie is a sponsor of Bike MS: New York City! And did you know that for every purchase from the Moxie Little Red Collection, Moxie donates $5 to the Huntsman Cancer Institute? Cute gear you can feel good about – that’s a great combo.
- Choose a friend or family member who is struggling with a health issue or other hard times and dedicate training rides, hill climbs, or large events to them. Post about it on social media, send them your bib number after the event, take a video during the event to tell them you’re thinking of them, buy them a souvenir – it can mean the world to somebody in a tough spot to know that somebody is riding for them.
- Find a group of like-minded cyclists to ride with. Like Team C4C, there are lots of recreational teams out there built around riding well and doing good.
In addition to sponsoring Bike MS in New York and the Little Red Collection, Moxie is also a sponsor of this year’s Cycle the WAVE Washington on September 18th ! Cycle the WAVE (Women Against Violence Everywhere), is a fully supported, non-competitive, deluxe all-women’s cycling event in its 9th year. It is a bike event for women of all ages and fitness levels to experience camaraderie, increase awareness of domestic violence through visibility and to raise funds for domestic violence programs across Washington State.
Riding with Team Cycle4Cure and riding for events that benefit causes I believe in has been an amazing opportunity for me to encourage others even as I’m doing something I love. It adds a whole new depth of meaning to my cycling and gives me a reason to dig a little deeper and push a little harder when the going gets tough.
Jamie is a Moxie Cycling Ambassador and blog contributor. Check out her bio here!