This past Sunday I rode 100 miles in the Philadelphia LiveStrong Challenge to honor the memory of my good friend Jon Milikowsky and raise money for cancer research. Our team Jon’s Crew raised, at the time of this writing, $34,612. This put us in, if memory serves me correctly, 6th place overall for team fundraising.
I took a lot of pictures during the event, which you can see here.
“Jon’s Crew” went out to dinner at the Macaroni Grill the night before the ride, which also happened to be my 26th birthday (hence the candle in my cake and the waiter singing).
The ride itself was quite amazing. Almost everybody’s bike had either an “In memory of” or “Survivor” placard calling out their intimate relationship with cancer. We all rode with “JON” in big block letters on an “In memory of” placard.
The toughness award definitely goes to Jen Milikowsky, Jon’s younger sister, as she sustained a pretty nasty crash on some railroad tracks just after the 60th mile. With her shin bleeding through several bandages, she never once thought about giving up, a perfect testament to the determination that helped make her brother such a dear friend to us all.
At the end of the day, the finish line was quite amazing. Event organizers threw yellow rose petals in the air as we all rode under the scaffolding where the ride started so many hours earlier that same day.
Even after participating in this event, I don’t think I can properly express the meaning our efforts have for the Milikowsky family. All of us who rode have resolved to do this ride every year, and we are also looking into doing some of the rides in other cities.