Riding For A Reason: Turning Training Into Something More with Less Cancer and Norte

eric norte

eric norteFor many of us, it’s been months since we’ve last raced a bike. It could be another month or two until it’s safe for us all to get back on course and take a shot at a podium. But leave it to cyclists to make the most of their downtime by mixing training with some really great causes.

At the beginning of June, Traverse City was supposed to be home to the Less Cancer Bike Ride. By mid-April, it was abundantly clear that having an event that would bring two hundred or more riders together just wasn’t going to happen. And so, the event shifted to a virtual format, inviting cyclists to join in wherever they might be riding. In short, it was a huge success, in part due to some long rides. TC riders made up the bulk of the 160+ participants, raising more than $80,000 to create cancer prevention programs in forty countries around the globe.

The biggest ride of that weekend is worth noting. Tim Pulliam, a local rider who has dipped his toe into our Pro race the past couple of years, led a small group of buddies on an eight-hour, 150-mile epic that included nearly 6,000 feet of elevation. The effort was so inspiring that riders asked to keep the event going through the end of the month, recruiting more of their friends to join in!

Part training, part charity ride, a day in the saddle like that has a big impact on the attention a ride like this might earn, and certainly can’t hurt as a few miles in the bank heading into summer and fall racing!

Later this summer, there’s another chance to help out. Norte’s Heavy Ride is asking for cyclists to do something big on their bike on August 15. From 200 mile rides to a simple spin around the block, it’s a chance for riders to raise money for Traverse City’s growing youth-cycling and advocacy mission. One of those riders committed as thrown in a very Iceman-centric twist.

Originally, Eric Mannix and Matt Harris were going to do their Heavy Ride at the iconic Leadville 100. When the event was canceled, Eric refused to give up. After thinking of a few ideas and ways to get something out of his training, he had what is either a crazy idea or a brilliant one. He decided to ride the Iceman course. Not impressive? He decided to get in every inch of Leadville’s 11,000 feet of elevation gain along the way. That means he’ll ride up every single climb one, twice, even twenty times to turn approximately 1,700 feet of elevation gain over the course of 30 miles into over two miles of vertical ascent. It’s one heck of a way to raise money to support more kids on bikes!

Eric starts his ride for Norte this Saturday, June 27 where so many editions of the Bell’s Iceman Cometh Challenge have finished at Timber Ridge. A few folks are planning out hitting parts of the course to wish him good luck, but if you can’t get into the woods to show him some support, you can donate toward his fundraising goal here.

Now, if that sounds like a fun idea, you’re crazy. But if you’re interested in turning a bit of your Iceman training into something more, check out Norte’s Near & Far Heavy Ride and make your own adventure happen!

No matter what you’ve been up to, we hope you’ve been safe and healthy these past few months.

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