Cayman rides in memory of Pete Ribbins

Cyclists take part in an earlier Pete Ribbins Memorial Ride. This year's race is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 18.

Cyclists are getting ready to pedal long distance in support of Cayman HospiceCare.

Cayman Water will stage the sixth annual Pete Ribbins Memorial Ride on Nov. 18, and is raising money for the hospice for the sixth straight year. Cayman Water has raised more than $20,000 for Cayman HospiceCare over the last five years, and it will match whatever contributions are made in 2018.

“We say we have two pillars for this event,” said Manuel Thomaz, the general manager of Cayman Water, about the memorial ride. “There’s the man himself. He was a sports lover. And then we have HospiceCare, which took care of him in his last days. It’s still doing a very important job. We know they’ll be having a new facility, so it’s very important that we and the community support them.”

Mr. Ribbins was a general manager for Cayman Water, and he passed away after a battle with Parkinson’s disease. Mr. Thomaz said that Mr. Ribbins was a former football player, biker and triathlete, and the idea to do something active in his memory made sense for all parties involved.

The ride will have something for people of all activity levels. There will be a 40-kilometer ride that draws the most competitive bikers on the island, and there will also be a 10-kilometer ride. Finally, there will be a 5-kilometer walk/run designed for people that want to take their time around the track.

There will be three different tracks for the three different distances, and all will start at the Abel Castillo Water Works plant in Governors Harbour. People can register on www.caymanactive.com, and Cayman Water will match donations for everyone who wants to remember Mr. Ribbins.

“Everybody loved him. He really inspired people. And, unfortunately, he left us very early,” said Mr. Thomaz of his predecessor. “He had Parkinson’s and he was taken care of by hospice in his last days, so that’s why we do this with HospiceCare. It had a lot of value for this man. A lot of people really use it, and they do it free of charge, so everybody that needs that type of support gets it free.”

It will cost $20 to register for the 40-kilometer race and $15 for the 10-kilometer ride. The shortest distance, the 5-kilometer walk/run, will also cost $15. Children can do any distance for $10.

Mr. Thomaz said that Cayman Water raised more than $6,000 last year in registration and matching fees, and he hopes the community will be just as generous in their donations this year.

“It’s good for your body. It’s good for your mind. It’s good for the family. And it’s good for HospiceCare,” said Mr. Thomaz. “They are really in need of this and other donations. They’re just building a new facility and it’s going to be a much bigger one. They will be able to provide more services to the needy. And as they’ve been saying, any penny is a valuable contribution for their mission on this island.”