The Ride to Send Samantha to the Paralympic Trials
Too frequently we cyclists get together for special (non-everyday) rides to remember someone no longer with us, or to raise funds to fight some dreadful disease. So when an opportunity comes around to get together for a reason on the opposite side of the emotional spectrum it is an extra special pleasure.
So it was for today's special ride hosted by the Competitive Edge Cyclery in Rancho Cucamonga. The reason for the celebratory mood among those gathered was to raise funds to help local athlete, Samantha Bosco (if you read the earlier iteration of this post I used Samantha Heinrich here because when searching for a list of her palmares that is the name USA Cycling was still using- I guess I can be more up-to-date), cover the costs of getting to the Paralympic Cycling Trials. Bosco has been racing at the top levels of the sport for a few years and has tallied an impressive palmares including a Bronze medal in the time trial at the 2013 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, wins at the UCI Para-cycling World Cup race at Matane, and the US National Criterium Championships (USA Cycling Amateur & Para Road Nationals), and most recently, the Gold Medal at the 2016 Parapan American Games in the road race, and the Silver Medal in the individual pursuit.
As riders began to arrive in the early morning sun, deposit a donation into the mussette, grab a cup of coffee in one hand and a baked good in the other, it quickly became apparent that there would be far more people than the twenty-six or so who responded on the event's Facebook page, set up by the Psycho-lists' tireless organizer extraordinaire, Mr. Mayo. Heck I think the SC Velo Junior Team almost made that number by themselves - seeing them all ride in as one mass was a pretty cool show of support - way to go! SC Velo and the Psycho-lists were not the only teams/clubs to be represented on this ride. There is much overlap between groups, riders belonging to multiple so that it may be impossible, and unnecesary to categorize, but based on kit being worn the Cycling Connection had their usual strength in numbers, Coates were well represented, the Back Abbey, Inland Empire Women Cyclists, Jensen USA, Cadence, and a whole lot of others. APX provided some pre-ride energy drink which riders seemed to be gratefully taking advantage of.
Greetings, some conversation, the pre-ride talk, photos, and then it was time to roll. The riders spun away from the shop in a positively charged mood, and why not, it would have been impossible to plan a more beautiful morning. The fact that we could all say we were there helping a fellow cyclist meet a dream was the icing on that cake.