A recap of the DEATH RIDE Tour ...Ride To Defeat ALS ...For Those Who Care.
We have just completed the 7th anniversary of the Death Ride Tour fundraiser for ALS. It was a great success and I would like to share with you some of the highlights.
Through the generosity of our sponsors, our collected donations and that of many others we were able to grant a wish for a man, Michael Cimburra, dealing with his crippling disease. Michael was a racing cyclist sponsored on a team by Groove Toyota. Last year just before the 6th Anniversary of the Death Ride Tour he was diagnosed at the age of 50 with ALS. We had arranged for him to attend that year and speak on behalf of those affected by ALS at dinner the second night. At that time Mike was able to walk on his own, breathe without assistance and talk freely. Come 2016 this all changed. Confined to a wheelchair, breathing with a ventilator and speaking through a computer, Mike's wish was to participate in the 2016 DRT.
Along with his wife Nicolle he is the parent of 3 wonderful and supportive children, Aiden, Seide, and Nelle.
It is overwhelming to see the constant dedication and vigilance it takes to keep Michael alive but his family is with him all the time.
A few months prior to the 7th anniversary Mike had reached out to me to see if I knew anyone who could make a tandem bike for a "handicapped" person as he desperately wanted to experience the ride!!
Through happenstance in speaking with 2013 DEATH RIDER Mike Dunky, one of the owners at Little Machine Beer in Denver and the grace of God, I discovered a man named Zach Yendra who along with his father Carl had designed a bike to transport kegs of beer!! They are 2 crazy guys who do this type of thing for fun. Zach's father is an engineer and Zach builds bars. Through my steady persuasion and some beer drinking they redesigned "the Bootlegger Bike" to accommodate Mike. A special race car seat and harness was attached and space was also designed to accommodate all of Michael's life support. There was some motorized assist that would help Zach ride this heavy bike with Mike up the 16,5000 feet of elevation gain.
It would take 2 hours every morning to get Mike set up in the bike and his wife and family followed behind in their car for support along with the Energy Bus. Four of his neighbors from team Hackberry Lane, Chris Baker, Mike Besser, Glenn Levi and Scott Lawson also rode their bikes in support of Mike and they also share in his home care taking turns on their designated days. Mike's nurse Brian Richard rode for the first time in a major event along side the " Bootlegger Bike" each day supporting Mike and pushing him to continue through rain, hail & heat.
Words can't describe the sheer joy and elation that Mike showed and felt! To be able to experience the freedom of flying down the mountain passes with the wind and sometimes rain in his face at 55 miles an hour and to be immersed in some of the most breathtaking scenery, is a gift beyond measure!!! It was such an overwhelming joy to experience this with him and his family and I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity.
We also had another ALS patient with us Robina Rogers, mother of Kellina Gilbreth. Attached is a great picture of them on the top of Molas Pass. This was the first DRT for Kellina who normally rode commuter trips and never really experienced much mountain climbing. Kellina completed the entire coarse.
There were 35 special flags made to Honor & Remember those with ALS. The DEATH RIDE Tour always remembers the Blazeman at this event.
The DEATH RIDE Tour will be making their a donation of $10,000 to the Blazeman Foundation in the support of The War On ALS. We are very thankful to Bob and Mary Ann for what they do to help find a cure for this horrible disease.
In addition the DEATH RIDE Tour was fortunate enough this year to have professional cyclist Tom Danielson and his wife Kourtney join us for all three days. They were both very gracious and supportive Ride Ambassadors. We hope they'll both come back again in 2017 and bring more friends like Ike Dana.
For all of you that participated this year I commend you for your courage, support and determination. I hope your experience was as heart warming as mine. Please come back in 2017 and bring more friends.
I want to thank TOP DOG - Spiderman Drew Palser for his outstanding, #1 fund raising total of $8644 and recognition of the top Angel of Life. Not bad for a 19 year old.
We still do not have the final donation total available as more donations are still coming in, however, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your support and generosity .!!! The event was certainly the true meaning of TZEDAKAH - To Give Back ...To Do The Right Thing ...To Be Righteous.
If you are ready to commit to this experience - well you can! 2017 Registration is OPEN!
Thank you all and best regards
President & Tour Director