Why I Ride: Justin Gilson.

Shortly, I will be riding in my third Rodman Ride for Kids with Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters’ “YoPro” (Young Professionals) Team – and I fully expect this year to be better than the last. With each year, the support and turnout feels bigger and better, which in turn makes me even more excited to ride.

I am fortunate that the Ride takes us through several towns which include my hometown! As I bike through the familiar streets, the highlight of the day is certainly riding past my family’s home and seeing them cheer me and the rest of the cyclists on.  It is amazing to see so many people participate and volunteer from the community where I grew up.

Given the hundreds of people on the course representing numerous organizations, I always like how our YoPro and JBBBS teams are given custom biking shirts, which make us easy to pick out of the crowd. It’s a shirt – but I think it adds to a sense of camaraderie and team spirit. Our team also sets up practice rides leading up to race day that allow us to hang out a bit more (not to mention give us all a little extra exercise for those 10-mile weekend rides).

Besides the ridiculous amounts of food  donated last year (donuts, bagels, and BBQ lunch!) I thoroughly enjoyed recruiting my younger brother to ride along with our YoPro team. It was a fun day all-around, made even better by having family ride with me. (Of course in typical younger brother fashion, we were neck-and-neck for 24.9 miles…until he decided to kick it into another gear at the finish line.)

Bros at the water stop.

Bros at the water stop.

Although the Rodman Ride will, no doubt, be awesome in 2014, I will make sure it’s made more so by beating my brother to the finish.

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