Seven years ago, my friend, Elyse Marsh, asked if I wanted to participate in the Rodman Ride for Kids. Elyse and I are both actively involved in JBBBS: both board members and both volunteers. (Elyse is a Friend 2 Friend volunteer. I’m a Big Sister.) So, I quickly agreed. The Rodman Ride was more fun and moving that we had anticipated. Hence, began a 7-year tradition of riding “The Ride.”
Each year, the day has begun the same. Getting up early and making sure we have all our gear, checking the air in our tires and then heading out to Foxboro. My excitement builds as we pull into the parking lot and join the mass of bikers – each representing a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help improve the lives of at-risk kids. At this point, I always feel proud to be a part of this community and am honored to wear my JBBBS bike shirt (which is always pretty cool). My energy level peaks when I join my fellow JBBBS riders, all of whom are either fellow board members, volunteers in our programs or just “good friends” of the agency.
Although I have always done the 25 mile ride, each year the actual ride has been a little different. Some years the sun has been shining and other years it has been cool and drizzly. But certain things are always the same: The crowd on the streets cheering us on and the extraordinary support and encouragement from the numerous volunteers along the route. And of course, there is the incredible sense of accomplishment when I cross the finish line. It may only be 25 miles, but I am helping raise money to support our Little Brothers and Sisters and adults who have disabilities.
The day ends with a BBQ that consists of not only great food but also exudes the spirit of the day. I so look forward to this year’s Ride!