Community Gathers to Help Fight Cancer at the Davis Livestrong Challenge
On July 10, 2011 fourteen members of Team Cedaron gathered in Central Park to participate in the Team Livestrong Challenge. The Team included two DBC Jr. Race Team members, six Race Team members, 3 Davis locals, a New Yorker, and two virtual participants. They arrived at Central Park sporting new custom-made Castelli Team Cedaron jerseys thanks to team member Kristen Hill, and together the team raised over $6200 for the event!
At the ride, the cyclists split into three groups to tackle the different routes. The 45 mile group consisted of DBC Jr. Race Teamers Sam and Kennedy Hill (on their first 45 mile ride!), their mom Kristen, and Davis educator Jean Salk. Even though they were on their first 45 miler, Sam and Kennedy had no problems with the longer distance. After 35 miles, Sam turned onto Putah Creek road (the site of many DBC Race Team sprints), looked at his teammates, and asked if anyone else wanted to sprint!
The second group from Team Cedaron took on the 70 mile ride. These cyclists included DBC Race Team members and Cedaron founders Malcolm and Karen Bond, and Andrew Barber, Marlene Simon, and Julie Schwartz, who is herself a cancer survivor. As Julie triumphantly crossed the finish line she was given a yellow rose by the Livestrong crew. Team Cedaron virtual riders Muneesh Wadhera and Gaurav Jain were there to capture the moment on camera.
The final group, DBC Race Teamers Neil Michel and Darin Salk, rode the full 107 mile course, and even snuck in a bit of time with Lance himself. Darin’s facebook wall reads:
Not your average ride: Neil Michel & I representing the Cedaron Cycling Team (& DBC) joined a bit in front to avoid the start madness & with friend Spencer Kenner rode with Lance Armstrong & 8 other riders (Lance's posse) for 22 miles. Lance was hammering & I drafted behind him for quite awhile. Per Neil, Lance sat on my wheel for 5+ miles. It was very cool!
The event turned out to be a huge success for Livestrong and for Davis. For a change, there was no pressure to podium (not that anyone would have stood a chance against Lance) because everybody was just there to have a good time, get in a good workout, and contribute to a great cause. Particularly heart-warming was the site of colorful bike carts that were decorated by local kids and used to bring children suffering from cancer to the event from nearby hospitals. The ride itself was also extremely well planned, with Davis Police officers and the CHP keeping the cyclists safe, comfortable rest stops (thanks to all the DBC volunteers!), and excellent post-ride food (the event was catered by both Burgers and Brew, and Zia’s Deli). Karen Bond, the Cedaron Team Captain, remarked, “The ride was fantastic, and Lance gave a great speech that really inspired us.” That inspiration was evident, as there were almost 1500 total participants, and over $900,000 dollars have been raised so far. The Livestrong Challenge was a great moment where the whole community really came together to support the fight against cancer. Thanks Lance!