May 17, 2012
Tomorrow is Bike to Work Day (B2WD).
There are many reasons why some of us continue to ride after B2WD. Some for the exercise, some to be more environmentally conscious, others to save gas, some just to relax, others because there is no other way to and from work or play and then some of us have totally different reasons to ride.
I ride for most of the reasons above. Now, I ride for one more.
Last year I found a reason to ride and came about it in a totally unexpected way. It was early June and I had thoughts of trying to run my 7th marathon, the Marine Corp, when I broke my foot. About the same time, I was covering an assignment about a cycling group out of North Potomac called RIDE Allegheny. This group of about 40 cyclists sponsors an October four-day, 300-mile charity benefit ride between Pittsburgh, PA and Darnestown, MD. The ride transverses the Great Allegheny Passage Trail and connects with the C&O National Park Trail in Cumberland, MD. I was game to ride especially since my friend and foot doctor Steve, told me I could cycle without causing further damage but not run until August.
Over the 2011 summer of exercising and group rides I learned why the RIDE Allegheny tour group rode – it was to support a non-profit group called Operation Second Chance (OSC). OSC is comprised of patriotic citizens committed to serving our wounded, injured and ill combat veterans. They support veterans and their families while they recover in military hospitals, primarily at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda.
The charity benefit angle was to raise $150,000 for OSC. Every rider has a goal and riders find sponsors or use their talents to raise funds. I did a photography benefit and far exceeded the “newbie” goal.
So this year the goal is $175,000 – and last Friday evening I did a photographic benefit once again to raise funds. With the help of my compatriots at RIDE Allegheny and Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape in the Kentlands we sponsored, Pet Photography for OSC Night. That evening about 400 patrons visited Pinky & Pepe’s and no one was more happier to be in the crowd than wounded warrior USMC L.Cpl. Caleb Getscher. He is seen here with a new friend, Bently.
It is why we RIDE.
For information on Operation Second Chance please go to http://www.operationsecondchance.org
If you are interested in the RIDE Allegheny’s 300-mile challenge this October registration is still open for seats on the bus – check us out at http://www.rideallegheny.org
Enjoy this B2WD and look I look forward to seeing you out and about riding over the Memorial Day weekend.