As the Midwest 2011 Get Your Guts In Gear ride quickly approaches, I reflect on how important this community has become to me. My daughter Megan has Ulcerative Colitis.
She also is an avid cyclist. Some years ago, she found a bike ride to raise awareness and money for research for Crohn’s and Colitis and she decided she was going to go to NY and ride.
The 1st year that Megan rode, I stayed in NYC and did some sightseeing. We were to meet up at the closing ceremony. When I walked into closing and the BBQ that followed, I immediately felt welcomed and felt like I was with a group of people that I wanted to be a part of. There were so many inspiring stories of riders that had participated in the ride, some for the fist time and many who had done the ride before. Megan had been very well taken care of on her first ride by both riders and crew. I decided I wanted to be a part of this community and family.
The MW 2011 ride will be the 9th ride that I will crew. Megan again will be riding. Crewing for me is a very rewarding experience. To be able to help a rider along the way by cheering them up a hill, or having a bag of ice ready for them when they come into a rest stop, or setting up a relaxing camp for them at the end of the day gives me such a great feeling. I know that I am helping the cyclists’ achiever their goals and give them a feeling of accomplishment. This ride empowers so many people-riders and crew alike.
The community has become like a second family to me. I look forward to the rides every year knowing that I will see old friends and make new ones.
Helping raise awareness for these diseases and helping these riders in whatever way they need has become something that I look forward to each year.
To crew this ride is some work, but it does not feel like work to me. I feel like a crew “Mom” taking care of the riders in any way that I can. I always have such a good time and I know that what I do for the GYGIG community is very much appreciated.
That is why you will see me here again this fall and on rides to come.
Come and join us-you will not be disappointed!!!