Charity Rides ...
I don’t like charity rides - the rides where you raise donations in order to enter the event. I only do one charity ride each year. This year I did the Jimmy V Ride for Research. Money raised by riders will be used for cancer research. The event is named after Jim Valvano the former head basketball coach of North Carolina State University. He died of cancer in 1993.
The main reason I don’t like charity rides is having to ask family, friends, and co-workers for donations. “Hello. I’m doing a bicycle ride to raise money for (enter charity here). Would you like to contribute?” There are lots of charity rides and I used to do several each year. But I became increasingly self-conscience asking the same people over and over for donations. It felt like I was asking them to pay for my rides. No one ever said anything; it’s just what I would think if someone kept coming to me for donations. To avoid asking for donations I began paying them myself. This solution is not sustainable if you don’t have the means to afford it. I don’t. That’s why I only do one charity ride each year.
There are other reasons I don’t like charity rides. They usually don’t have good routes; probably because non-cyclists create them. And many riders doing charity events are not “real” cyclists- like Amy. Amy did the Jimmy V Ride for Research. She rode 25 miles. It was her first event. Her husband, children and parents were there to support her. She did the ride in honor of her brother who died of cancer. He was a “real” cyclist. For Amy this was more than just a ride. It was personal. It was an act of love. I realized my small contribution might prevent others from riding in memory of a loved one. It feels good to ride for something bigger than oneself. Maybe I do like charity rides.
By the way, “Hello, I’m doing a bicycle ride to raise money for…”