Cyclists raise millions for charity

Glen Inanga, University College of
the Cayman Islands lecturer, musician and Cayman Arts Festival director, gave
his account of a special charity bike ride that he undertook recently, along
with participants from Walkers law firm:

A most beautiful ride

I can see why
it is called America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride, as the views during this
100-mile ride in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, were truly phenomenal. There were 3,000
cyclists from all over the US (we were the only folks from ‘overseas’), and the
amount we collectively raised from our amazing ride in aid of cancer research
for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society was a staggering US$6 million. (Funds are
still coming in.)

Meeting
leukemia and lymphoma survivors and talking to supporters who have lost members
of their family to these horrible diseases was quite inspirational and very
moving (especially in relation to those that have lost small children). Some
survivors’ rode (which was incredible) and a number of participants were riding
in memory of others. Our 100-mile bike ride personified team work at its best:
cyclists of different shapes, sizes, ages, races, levels of physical fitness
and health persevering against the odds, sometimes in very treacherous
conditions, for a common cause.

Training for success

My pre-race
training included spinning classes, initially twice a week for the first two
months and three times a week in the final month leading up to the century
ride.  Spinning classes were great for interval
training and for simulating climbs. 

My Sundays
were spent training with the Cayman Cycling Association riders, clocking just
over 50 miles on some occasions. There was a social 100-mile ride in April,
arranged by the Cycling Association, which I decided to have a go at to
convince myself that I could at least do 100 miles on a flat course around
Cayman. On average, I was cycling about six hours a week. Some days I went
short and very hard; other days I went long and easy.

Stunning scenery

Our day began
with a 6am start at the meeting point, whereby I teamed up with Team Walkers,
all of us proudly donning iguana on our helmets – the endangered Cayman
Islands’ Blue Iguana, which is also the Walkers mascot.

The route in
Tahoe encompassed riding through two states, but also passed through two
cities, seven communities and five counties. The roads around Lake Tahoe are
narrow with not much shoulder and suffer wear and tear each winter, so
navigating the holes in the road was a challenge.

The course
included a challenging 800-foot climb to a rest stop overlooking Emerald Bay
and a 1000-foot climb up to Spooner Summit. The altitude ranged from 6,300 to
7,100 feet above sea level.

The weather
was perfect, starting off in the 50s around 6 am, when the ride began to the
70s in the mid-afternoon. I was on the road for 12 hours, including
rest/fuelling time. The air was quite thin, making it a challenge not to become
breathless too quickly when pushing hard.

A team effort

Team Walkers
had raised over US$55,000 thanks to the generosity of many staff members at
Walkers, as well as family, friends and members of the community in Cayman. It
was a real team effort by Walkers, who were riding in the event as part of a
major client’s team, with senior partners of the firm riding alongside lawyers,
managers, support staff and some family members.

Team Walkers
consisted of Nancy Lewis (team captain), Grant Stein, Ian Ashman, Mark Lewis, Caroline
Williams, Rolf Lindsay, Shelley Lindsay, Colette Wilkins, Victoria Hew, Sarah
Priaulx, Donna Harding, Wade Tamasa and myself.

As expected,
the climbs were the most challenging part of the ride but very much worth the
hard work as the views at the top of the hills were truly breathtaking.

The funds
raised by our endurance challenge will go a long way toward advancing the
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s mission to facilitate research to find a cure
for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, while simultaneously
helping to improve the lives of patients and their families. Those of us that
have lost a family member or friend to cancer, or currently have a family
member or friend, who is courageously battling cancer, know first-hand what a
cruel and destructive disease it is.

Anything that
can be done to assist efforts to eradicate cancer must be worth supporting
and/or doing.

For those
wishing to donate, contributions may be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma
Society in respect of this particular fund raising effort up to 6 August by
accessing the following Team in Training website:  http://pages.teamintraining.org/nyc/ambbr10/TeamWalkers

LOCALcyclistsSTORY

Glen Inanga and Caroline Williams on Lake Tahoe charity ride.
Photo: Submitted
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