Have you ever biked long distance on a stationary bike? If you have, you know it can be painful.
Last Friday, close to 120 participants joined together at the Athletic Performance Center in Raleigh to bike for 24 hours. Jaime Holt, a physical therapist at the APC, came up with the idea to create an additional fundraiser for the Kids ‘N Community Foundation. After a lot of planning, the event occurred last weekend. It started at 5:00 p.m. on Friday and ended at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Jaime and his staff provided plenty of entertainment throughout the entire event. There was a raffle every hour that included 14 highly-sought-after Hurricanes-themed Canvas on Demand prints, a live DJ from Linda Craft & Team that provided music Friday night and Saturday during the day, movies projected on the wall during the night, and food provided by Rudino’s and Chick-fil-A. There were prizes for teams who placed in the top three in total mileage.
Members of the Eye Care Associates Storm Squad came to cheer on the participants from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. on Friday and Stormy came by to bike on Saturday. There were also mystery riders that came throughout the event to help various teams. Riders included Erik Cole, Jon Matsumoto, former Hurricanes players Ray Whitney and Shane Willis, and NBA Player David West.
Personally, I went into this event with no worries. I like to bike and knew that our Canes Staff team would have a blast. There was an elite division and a recreational division. We are not expert bikers, so we were one of the recreational teams. We had a total of nine people on our team, with three of us that were there the entire 24 hours. We had it planned that we would rotate biking in shifts of 30 minutes. That worked well, until around 11:00 p.m., when we were absolutely exhausted. No one on our team realized how physically demanding it would be in addition to the state of delirium that occurs when you don’t sleep.
The entire 24 hours of biking consisted of teamwork. We had the smallest team, so we had to encourage and support each other the entire event. We had to communicate constantly about who needed to take a nap, who was ready to get back on the bike, how long you could last on the bike, etc. Below are a couple of our team’s favorite memories from the night:
• Shane Willis coming in at 8:00 a.m. and biking for our team. He was a lifesaver at this point of the event for our exhausted team.
• Watching how tired our team was from “recreational” biking and comparing us to the elite teams. All of the members of the elite teams virtually biked the Blue Ridge Parkway.
• Playing football with other teams, throwing football while on the bike, dancing on the bike, listening to my teammates sing songs from the ‘90s, and watching Dodgeball at 4:00 a.m.
• The camaraderie of all the bikers at the event. After 24 hours of sweating together, we knew each other very well.
• Watching Jon Matsumoto and Ray Whitney interact with the other bikers. Both players stayed to bike extra shifts to help out multiple teams.
• Taking a step back to watch the event and realize the support from our community. The fact that 120 people gave up their Friday and Saturday to bike for the Kids ‘N Community Foundation is a testament to the give-back nature of our area.
The event was a huge success for its first year. The total mileage of the eight recreational teams was 3,015.64 miles. Our Canes Staff team biked 356.49 miles, which is the distance from the RBC Center to Alex Ovechkin's Verizon Center.
The Bike Challenge raised $12,165 for the Kids ‘N Community Foundation. The money raised will be recycled back into the community to various non-profit children’s organizations in the Fall. With fundraisers like the Bike Challenge, we hope to surpass last year’s total numbers of $539,771 in cash grants donated to 71 different children’s charities.
Thank you to Jaime Holt, the Athletic Performance Center staff, Carolina Hurricanes players, the 120 participants, and all of the donors who supported the event. Knowing the impact the event will have on the kids in our community, made the pain in our legs and every bead of sweat worth it. We hope you all will join us at the Bike Challenge next year!
Register now for the 14th Annual Kids ‘N Community Foundation charity golf tournament sponsored by Volvo Construction Equipment on Monday, October 3. If you know that you are ready to sign up, you can download this form or contact the Community Relations department to reserve your foursome today. We can be reached by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by calling (919) 861-5474.