‘Good’ returns to biking
Mar 07, 2013 | 612 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In the wake of the admitted doping scandal by disgraced Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, something good is returning to the sport.

It is happening in our hometown and we have Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland to thank for its expanding sense of community presence.

We refer to Bike to Build, a growing fundraiser now in its fourth year. This popular event is vital to the organization’s continued momentum, especially as it follows 2012, which local Habitat for Humanity scrapbooks will record as the nonprofit’s busiest, and most successful, period in its 23-year history.

Bike to Build’s goal is $80,000, enough money to build two more Habitat for Humanity houses in Cleveland and Bradley County. Prime sponsor is again Toyota of Cleveland and a slate of additional partners is lining up to make the April 20 event another unparalleled success.

Planners are hoping to recruit as many as 400 cyclists — more would be outstanding — and the beauty of Bike to Build is that it’s not just an event for those with years of experience behind the pedals. It appeals to all groups and individuals, as evidenced by the fact that three routes are again being offered.

All will start and end at Bradley Central High School.

The courses, which are being reversed this year as an added flare, will include a 20-kilometer (12.4 miles), a 50K (31.07 miles) and a 100K (62 miles). The starting times are being staggered by an hour to enhance the experience for all cyclists and to assure that most will be completing their spins at approximately the same time.

The 100K will begin at 7 a.m. with same-day registration by 6 a.m.; the 50K starts at 8 a.m. with registration by 7; and the 20K gets under way at 9 a.m. with registration by 8 a.m. However, all participants are encouraged to register early on Friday, April 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Toyota of Cleveland located off Interstate 75 at Exit 20.

Early registration will help with Saturday morning crowd flow and it will give participants an opportunity to greet a couple of celebrity riders, as well as have photographs taken with them, along with receiving autographs.

They are Saul Raisin, a professional cyclist, and Hector Picard, a bilateral amputee and triathlete. Their inclusion is expected to attract an even larger crowd of skilled riders for the spring ride; however, the celebrities are coming as an encouragement for all cyclists at all levels and interests, and to support the good work of Habitat for Humanity.

Both celebrity riders have survived horrific accidents in their sports. Theirs are inspiring stories well worth the telling, and the hearing, among anyone who loves to ride a bicycle, but who also believes in the miracle of life and the passion of hope.

Again this year, “Spirit Riders” will be a part of Bike to Build. Spirit Riders, which were introduced at last year’s event, are cyclists who are riding in honor or in memory of a friend or loved one.

Riders this year also have a greater choice in registration packages — Standard and VIP.

The standard offers a $40 fee and includes free cotton T-shirt, snacks, lunch, a goody bag and full support-and-gear service. The VIP package is $55 and includes a Dri-Fit T-shirt, a carabiner, a zippered sport bag, snacks, lunch, a goody bag and full SAG service.

Anyone wanting to sign up can also do it by filling out a Bike to Build pamphlet. All riders are encouraged to raise at least $100 through sponsorships. Registration on the day of the event is $75.

Detailed information is available at www.habitatofcleveland.org or in event pamphlets which are available throughout the community.

Bike to Build offers all the ingredients for a worthwhile community event.

It is healthy. It is fun. It is family friendly. It is cause-driven because its proceeds aid Cleveland families who are willing to work hard, and make sacrifices, to help themselves.

And it’s only spin is that of bicycle tires and all that benefits humanity.