Building the Pedal the Cause Tribe, One Ride at a Time

by Patrick Connor, Executive Director

Training Ride Group Shot

The Pedal the Cause community is growing, every day. People from every part of San Diego are signing up.  Our diverse community was shining bright on Saturday for our training ride, under the beautiful San Diego skies. We had an extraordinary group of 26 riders, of all abilities.  We had hybrid bikes and road bikes.  We had sneakers and clip-in cycling shoes.

Renowned coach Roch Frey and Executive Director Patrick Connor led eight riders on a 20-mile course. Ironman World Champion Heather Fuhr and Ironman Age Group Champion Terry Martin led 14 riders on a 38-mile course.  Swami’s Cycling Team veteran Billy Duvel and professional triathlete Tatiana Vertiz led four riders on a 58-mile course.

In addition to the great ride, another extraordinary part of Saturday was the conversations that were had.

  • I was talking with Dr. Rafael Bejar of the UCSD Moores Cancer Center, who is also captain of the Bone Marrow Transplant Center of Excellence team, as we were cycling up the Torrey Pines hill.  He discussed the difference between stem cell transplants and bone marrow transplants, and then discussed how immunotherapy Training Ride Pic. 2works – in laymen’s terms, of course.  When we got to the top of the long ascent, we congratulated each other for conversing without losing our breath.
  • On the 101, I was talking with four-time lymphoma survivor Damian Del Rio about hejoys and challenges of survivorship.  Damian recently joined the team started by his oncologist, Dr. Edward Ball of the UCSD/Sharp BMT Program.
  • Peter Dougherty and John Lofthus, who have both participated in several Team in Training events, were overheard talking about their motivation to participate in Pedalthe Cause because 100% of proceeds stay in San Diego to fund cancer research.
  • Terry Martin, an Ironman Age-Group Champion and member of the Multisports team shared with with us that she and her husband, Billy Duvel, are riding 100 consecutive days in honor of her father who recently died of lung cancer.  This was day 25 of their tribute.
  • I thanked Kate Deering and Ashley Wagner of Bill’s Angels for setting the pace on fundraising.  They were surprised at how easy fundraising was and how many people were eager to donate, just because they started asking.  Kate has received donations from 37 donors, and Ashley has 22 donors, in amounts ranging from $10 to $250.  That’s how it works.

We would like to thank each one of our riders for showing up and making it an extraordinary day:  Levent Alkibay, Rafael Bejar, Patrick Connor, Don Daley III, Kate Deering, Damian del Rio, Peter Dougherty, Billy Duvel, Roch Frey, Heather Fuhr, Kenneth Goodwin, Elizabeth Hazelton, Jennifer Janis, Bill Koman, Patrick Lappin, Rob Lindbloom, John Lofthus, Terry Martin, Remmi Molthen, Bryan Murrell, Eric Nolan, Kristine Vargas, Dominique Verblle, Tatiana Vertiz, and Ashley Wagner.

We would also like to thank Laine and Amy Koman for coming out to volunteer.

The next training ride is Saturday, July 13.  Don’t miss it.

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