This past weekend's Ride For Roswell was more than just a long bike ride for me. Riding over 100 miles in one day on a bike has been a goal of mine for a few years. Three years ago, I didn't even own a bike. To ride that far was on my "bucket list," and after this past Saturday, I can cross that one off. However, the weekend was more about inspiration than anything else.

Not only was I hoping to inspire many of you, I was also inspired by the many stories and people I met. From survivors to those that have lost someone, events like the Ride For Roswell bring people together with one common goal...BEAT CANCER.

Cancer is evil. Not only does it physically challenge and alter the lives of the patients, but it affects the many loved ones in their lives as well. I saw some old friends this weekend and found out they were battling various forms of this disease. Some of them, I had no idea they had even been diagnosed. When they thanked me for what I was doing (riding and hosting), it was all I could do not to cry. Really, I don't want thanks, and I am sure I speak for the other volunteers, staff and doctors when I say that it is the least we can do.

We are all in "this" together. Life is a lot like a long bike ride. In order to keep a good pace, you need a good group that works together. When the wind picks up and blows in your face and the road gets rough and your legs get tired and your mouth gets dry and your back is in need others to lift your spirits. You need others to pull you along through the wind. You need others to assist you even when you are too afraid to ask for help.

Roswell Park does this for their patients every day. They offer the hope and courage and strength to get their MANY patients through the most challenging times. Friday and Saturday was more than just a weekend to cross an item off my bucket list. It was a real reminder that the greatest thing you can do is help someone when they need it. Even if it means just getting on your bike or holding a flag at an intersection or merely letting a cancer patient know you care and that you are thinking and praying for them.

It took me and my group of guys just over five and a half hours to complete our ride. At 75 miles, I almost quit. My legs cramped so bad I couldn't even pedal, and I had blown a tube out of my front tire. My friends Tim and Tom helped me get it fixed and waited for my cramps to pass and talked me through the last 25 miles. I couldn't have done it without them.


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