Sunday, August 19, 2012

Day 232: Rode My Bike A Loooooong Way

For 5 years at Indiana University (yes, I took a victory lap), I was able to attend the greatest sporting event known to man.  Until the Bears win the Super Bowl, the Little 500 will always be my favorite sporting event, and one that I look forward to every single year.  As much as I enjoyed Little 500, I never jumped on a bike to potentially participate in it.  This was mostly because I enjoyed the party week that led up to the race more than anything.  Well today, with no training whatsoever and back pain that sometimes keeps me from walking of late, I decided to finally get on a bike and ride my butt off.

For the past 3 years, the Chicago Cubs and World Bicycle Relief have put on the Wrigley Field Road Tour.  The Wrigley Field Road Tour is a 100 mile bike ride from Wrigley Field to Wisconsin and back that helps to raise money and support for World Bicycle Relief and Chicago Cubs Charities.  My fundraising efforts, which was predominantly supported by all of you in the 366 Random Acts community, helped to pay for 5 bicycles for female students in Africa.  These bicycles are life changing.  "A bicycle in the hands of an African student changes everything.  Students with bikes arrive to school safe and ready to learn. Initial results from the program show grades and attendance increasing while child pregnancy and other health risks such as HIV/AIDS rates are decreasing. Families of students also benefit from the bicycle; it is common for a family member to borrow the bicycle to take goods to market during the day while a child is in school, then return it for the student's journey home."

The race started off without a hitch (except for the fact that I was in pretty bad pain), and I was able to make it about halfway before my back wouldn't allow me to continue.  Luckily, they had an awesome response team which took me and my bike to near the finish line so that I could ride across with my friend Chas.  It was a great day, and in all, the 450 or so riders were able to raise over $240,000 for the charities.  After the race, we were able to hang out on Wrigley Field and play catch.  If you are interested in helping others raise money for great causes by putting their bodies through physical hell, please visit the pages for my friends Dan (Infant Welfare Society) and Bryan (Returning Wounded Soldiers)!

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