Monday, April 12, 2010

The Great American Bike Race - Just Plain Awesome!






There are so many words I can think of that describes the Great American Bike Race event which took place this past Saturday: Loud, Fun, Exciting, Crazy, Inspiring, Encouraging, Exhausting but most of all it was just plain Awesome!

As team captain, I was required to be there all day, which I didn't mind but my feet certainly did as I did not sit down once! I arrived before 9:00 a.m. to greet my first rider of the day, my cousin Beth. She really knew how to set the pace by biking 17 miles in 25 minutes! After Beth, my former co-workers from Laducer showed up. I am so thankful to keep in touch with many of my friends from Laducer. Jane and Brooke did awesome as well - Jane did especially great with fundraising as she raised over $600!

Lindsey and her boyfriend Matt arrived sporting their very cool 'Faith's Fantastic Ten' t-shirts which were paid for by my brother Todd and his oil well consulting business. They were designed by another rider, Liza Kessel. While Matt was riding, Rob and Faith showed up! Faith seemed a little overwhelmed at first (they blast the music really loud) but she seemed to settle down and actually had so much fun! She especially had fun cheering for daddy when he rode and keeping him cool by fanning him with the fan. He did really good and biked 16.6 miles!

The fun continued as Rob's co-worker, Dave and his wife Liza took their turns on the bike. (Liza was the one who designed the t-shirts). While they rode, many of Faith's friends came to the bike race to see her. Mrs. Steckler (her teacher) came with her family as well as Mrs. Volk (her instructional aid at school.) A few of her classmates came as well. Faith also had fun visiting with those she sees at therapy and also those who have worked with her in the past, like her early interventionist and former speech therapist. Her former respite care provider, Kimberly came all the way from New Town to ride and to see Faith as well.

Finally, it was time for the last rider of the day - my friend Tina's husband, Doug. Unfortunately, he had a little accident when his foot slipped out of the pedal and the pedal hit his leg (the bike was going nearly 60 miles per hour when that happened.) He was a trooper though. Tina and Doug's kids were there too to visit with Faith and see what the bike race was all about. Also, Tina's parents came so they could meet Faith.

Another great moment of the bike race was having Callie's Angels right next to us. The team is made up of family members of a girl named Callie who had cerebral palsy and passed away in 2008 at the age of nineteen. We heard so many comments from them how Faith's beautiful, bright smile reminded them of their Callie. They were so blessed just to be able to talk to Faith and hang out with her.

All in all it was a fantastic day and as an added bonus I was able to make my personal goal of raising $1,000 for our team. Thanks to all of those who donated, including my family and friends, Mrs. Steckler's kindergarten class, Centennial Elementary and the residents of our building who gave during our bake sale. It truly is amazing how so many people come together for this amazing fundraiser. I know firsthand how blessed the special needs families in North Dakota are for having this awesome event.

To learn more about the Great American Bike Race check out the following link:
http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Largest-Fundraiser-of-Its-Kind

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