Sunday, July 7, 2013

Ride For Roswell 2013: Post Ride Thoughts

Starting line - 30 mile early route
I crossed the finish line just shy of 10:00am. 
I biked 30 miles in memory of my Grandma Carol Sondel. 
Lovin' On Buffalo fundraised over $800 to help fight cancer. 

I know none of these things are particularly extraordinary; many were done quicker, rode further and raised more, but I helped let cancer know its days are numbered. 

I was one of 8,000. Our $800 was part of 3.8 million that was raised. 
Those things ARE extraordinary. 

Saturday, June 22nd was a gorgeous day in Buffalo to bike! The 30 mile river route was filled with gorgeous scenery and many excited route guides who cheered us along as we rode past them. Our rest stops had great food (special shout out to the Praxair rest stop) and the company along the way helped make the 30 miles go by fast! 

It was an emotional day. As we lined up to start and the Emcee asked cancer survivors to raise their hands, the tears started flowing. They started flowing for my Grandma, who lost her battle so quickly, for the survivors who have gone through so much and are on a bike ready to ride 30+ miles, and for their family and friends who have been along with them on the journey. 

In the weeks leading up to the Ride For Roswell, their social media feeds were asking for help to fill a "critical" volunteer need, so I offered to serve as a Ride Marshal for my route. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I ended up finding it very rewarding. My boyfriend and I pulled over about 6 times to check on people who were either injured or had bike problems. We did what we could and off we went. Everyone was so appreciative and thankful for helping. 

My boyfriend, who can ride much faster than me, often jumped ahead. I knew he would finish before me, and as I came across the finish line he was there cheering me on. My name was said over the loud speaker as I crossed and it was such an incredible feeling. I am so proud of myself for taking on a longer route, on very little training, and getting across that finish line in a respectable time. 

Everyone at the Ride was great. Volunteers, staff members, sponsors, and riders were filled with pride and happiness. Though a sad day for many who were riding in memory of those they lost, it was also a day of hope. Hope that Roswell Park is closer to a cure. Hope that cancer won't mean a death sentence in the years to come. 

Congratulations to everyone on each and every single route. From 104 miles down to the 3 mile family ride, you all took time out of your weekend to be healthy and active for a good cause. 

Thanks to my family and friends who make donations, and to my boyfriend who was there to cheer me on and motivate me to finish. 

Together Buffalo, we can truly make a difference for Western New Yorkers and the world!

The countdown to the 2014 Ride for Roswell is on! Hope to see you there!

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