I love to ride and, whenever I can sneak away for an hour or two, I head for the single lane roads of Metro West Boston to take advantage of the time to be outside, to enjoy the fresh air, and to feel the accompanying exertion. With that love, though, there is always the twinge of guilt that follows: Cycling can be a bit of a selfish pursuit and it always competes for time with family, work, and other obligations.
But that feeling disappears each September at the Rodman Ride for Kids. That’s the one day each year that I know I am riding for someone other than myself. And the people I am riding for aren’t just an abstraction. They include Josh, the Little Brother I spent three years getting to know, and the more than 80 Little Brothers and Sisters the organization sends to camp each summer. They also include the volunteers, Big Brothers and Sisters, who spend their free time making a real difference.
And, of course, there is no better fundraising model than the Rodman Ride’s – with the event organizers, sponsors and vendors picking up all of the costs and then matching a portion of our fundraising. It’s virtually unheard of at a time when fundraising is a challenge and there are so many organizations deserving of our support.
My distance of choice is 50 miles and it’s typically my longest ride of the season. Regardless of how hard I have been training over the summer, though, I know the that the energy of the volunteers at each of the three water stops will carry me through. (This was true even during the year that I was part of a group of about 20 Rodman Riders that went the wrong way and added about five miles to our trip before we were rescued by a local police officer who set us back on the right path!)
And when I am done with the Ride, exhausted and enjoying a cold refreshment and some great barbecue, I gaze out at my fellow riders and think about what we have all just accomplished. I begin looking forward to doing it again next year. I hope you will join us.