Friday, November 30, 2012

America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride

Train for the 100-mile event in Lake Tahoe, NV., while fundraising for lifesaving cancer research
By Liz W. Robbins
Is completing a century in 2013 one of your New Year’s resolutions? Want to do so while giving back to a worthy cause? If yes, look no farther than Team In Training (TNT), an endurance fundraising program supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). TNT is currently recruiting cyclists for its summer season, which includes 18 weeks of preparation for “America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride (AMBBR),” to be held June 2 in Lake Tahoe, NV.  
Considered a favorite of alumni, the event has been on the roster since 1997 and averages 1,300 TNT cyclists per year from chapters across the nation (registration is capped at 3,000). A staggering $80,232,400 has been raised for blood cancer research over 16 years of participation.
What makes it so special?
For starters, “it’s more than a bike ride,” explains TNT alum Becky Kaye, who has completed the event 11 times both as a coach and participant. She notes that when cyclists train together while supporting the larger cause they develop a special bond. “People take care of each other and cheer you on. They genuinely want you to succeed.”
TNT alum Bruce Levy, who completed the event in 2010, agrees, adding that his experience was especially meaningful because his mother was also battling cancer at the time. “I’ll always associate Tahoe with memories of my mother and the way she encouraged me and insisted that I do the ride.”
“Someday there will be a cure for blood cancers,” adds Dana Howe, a survivor of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma who has completed the event twice. “Being part of the legacy of supporting the research and patient advocacy through training and fundraising for an event is a worthy achievement.”
When event day comes, cyclists are rewarded for their hard efforts, on and off the bike, with an amazing location.  “Breathtaking scenery is all along the course,” explains Will Wardy one of two team coaches for the summer season.  Adds Coach Albert Chavira, who has completed the event nine times: “Lake Tahoe is always at your right side, so it’s a great visible deterrent to keep you from thinking of the hills!”
Speaking of hills, Tahoe offers a challenging 800-foot climb to a rest stop overlooking scenic Emerald Bay, as well as a 1000-foot climb to Spooner Junction. Although challenging, both are very doable, even for beginners. “If participants follow the guidance of their coaches, on event day they can expect an amazing ride they’ll never forget,” says Wardy.
 TNT alum Tom Eschenbrenner, who completed the ride this year, agrees, noting that “the cycling program lived up to my expectations, building endurance, improving my cycling skills and providing the structure necessary to train for a century.” Lynn West, who completed the event in 2011 when weather conditions were cold and wet, says the training and support also helped her build mental endurance. “I was prepared physically, but my success against the conditions came through the encouragement of my coaches and my husband who supported me to the end.”
For more information contact TNT Cycle Coordinator Kelly Donovan at (972) 996-5921, or go to:

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