Pedaling with passion
A whole new way of raising funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer begins tomorrow as hundreds of bicyclists take to the roads of the Roaring Fork Valley.The first annual Aspen/Snowmass Ride for the Cure is a 100-mile bike ride organized by the Aspen Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. It is expected to raise a quarter-million dollars for the organization.The first-time event has already joined the affiliate’s other annual fund-raiser, July’s Race for the Cure, in securing a strong local following. As of Thursday afternoon, 250 riders had registered to raise the $500 minimum necessary to participate.”It’s interesting that there’s always a huge response in the fight against breast cancer in this valley,” said Maura Masters, who is helping with press relations for the event. “We ask for help, and we always get it.”This event is a ride, not a race, and participants are encouraged to stop at aid stations along the way. To keep things lighthearted, different organizations are sponsoring the aid stations. For example, the monks at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Old Snowmass will offer blessings and cookies, the Aspen Historical Society will dress in period costumes at Ashcroft, and Aspen Valley Hospital is sponsoring a “naughty nurses” stop with the Woody Creek Tavern serving pink drinks.”It was time for a true century ride in town,” said Lisa Consiglio, co-chair of the event. The concept for the ride came from the Pan Massachusetts Challenge, the country’s most successful bike ride for charity. Consiglio’s co-chair, Elaine Grossman, is a breast cancer survivor who has ridden the Pan Massachusetts Challenge. She managed to get that event’s founder to help the Aspen affiliate of the Komen Foundation set up this ride.While participants can join the ride in increments of 23 miles and 64 miles, the vast majority are riding all 100 miles, according to Consiglio.The Aspen affiliate has reached out to the biking community to spread the word about the ride, using sponsors such as the Hub of Aspen and Carmichael Training Systems, founded by Chris Carmichael, personal coach to Lance Armstrong.”We do have a lot of new supporters, and our sponsors have a huge handle on the bikers in this community, doing wonders to get the information out there,” she said, adding the Aspen affiliate is also indebted to its noncycling sponsors, including Aspen Valley and Valley View hospitals. Seventy-five percent of the money raised from the event will remain in the Roaring Fork Valley, providing mammograms, education and treatment for under-served local residents.The Aspen/Snowmass Ride for the Cure follows a 100-mile route that winds from Paepcke Park in Aspen to Ashcroft, the Maroon Bells, Snowmass Village, the Monastery in Old Snowmass and through Woody Creek before returning to Paepcke Park.Ride participants will use bike paths when possible, but will also share the road with motorists beginning at 7:15 a.m.For more information on the ride, visit http://www.aspenrideforcure100.com.Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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