Here is the plan for 2012 Ride for Mike

Some call it coincidence. I call it Providence, but there are those times when small things happen that really encourage you along the way or let light into a time of confusion. One of those instances happened to me yesterday.

If you read yesterday’s post, you probably sensed that I have been struggling with how I planned to approach the 2012 Ride for Mike. I hinted at a short-term goal (that I will share this morning), talked about the longer-term goal ( and then expressed my loss at what to do on a “big scale” as I have in years past. Well, yesterday afternoon someone showed up in my office unexpectedly and cleared it all up for me.

So, here is the plan for the 2012 Ride for Mike.

Stars and Stripes Challenge

The short-term plans for the 2012 Ride for Mike is for me to participate in the 2012 Stars and Stripes Challenge. Yes, I realize that it is less than two weeks away.  You may ask why the sudden decision to make this charity event a focus this year.

The first Ride for Mike website

I need to take you back to the first ever Ride for Mike. Though not called the Stars and Stripes Challenge at that time, September 2, 2007 was the first one. Now, I bring you up to this month when we learned that the US Pro championships would now be leaving Greenville for Chattanooga. While I am sure that the P3 organization will continue to have a charity ride in Greenville, the entire nature of the ride will change because it will not be associated with the Pro race.

That is why I want to make this event part of the 2012 Ride for Mike. It could very well be the last opportunity to repeat that first ride that started all of this! No doubt it will be emotional for me as it brings together so many aspects of the last five or six years.

So, I do ask for your support. If you have enjoyed over these years, consider a gift. If you want to join in the battle against cancer, consider a gift. I realize the time is short. I realize that finances are tight for many of us. Just know that your gift is appreciated more than you know.

Objective: Finish what I started. In that first ride I set a goal to ride the Pro course three times before the time cutoff. In 2007, I only did two laps. This year (depending on what we are allowed) I want to get in that third lap.

How do you give? Go to the Palmetto Peloton Project’s website and access the giving form. There is a drop down list for participants. Find my name, Jonathan Pait, and then finish filling out the form. Proceeds from the event will support Breakaway from Cancer’s Nonprofit Partners, and the Greenville Hospital System’s Institute of Translational Oncology Research.

I’m excited about that opportunity, but not nearly as excited about the next one! This will help explain what I was talking about in the first paragraph.

Mike Rides a Century for Mike

I was sitting in my office when I heard a familiar voice out in the lobby. The voice said, “Is Jonathan Pait in?” The receptionist came to my door and said, “There is someone here to see you. Are you available to speak with him?” I jokingly replied, “Well, it depends on who it is!” I then stood and approached the door to find Michael T. McCaskill’s dad standing just on the other side.

This was a surprise! I didn’t expect him to come in my door (the McCaskill’s live in Tennessee) — especially on the very day that I wrote the post about the 2012 plans. We talked a bit and then I brought up my blog post and the change of plans from my initial big dreams of a multistaged charity ride in Memphis. I didn’t want to disappoint Mike.

As always, Mike was extremely gracious and understanding. He expressed that he and the family were behind anything that I decided to do. He reaffirmed his desire to see the I Do It For Foundation go forward in his son’s memory.

I then brought up another subject. That subject was his first ever century. We had talked about it during the Family Fun Ride in 2011 and mentioned it in passing since that time. However, this time, I wanted to nail him down on a date.

That is when Mike gave me the best idea of all for the 2012 Ride for Mike. Why not make Michael T.’s dad’s first century ride the 2012 Ride for Mike? Talking about an emotional culmination of purposes! This would be huge!

Mike tied up the loose ends by saying, “Why don’t we do that and use it as the springboard for the I Do It For Foundation?” So, now we had an event with incredible meaning and a cause that would extend that meaning into many other lives. In a future post, I will tell the whole story. When you read that story, you will understand why symbolically that 100 miles means more to me than the hundreds of miles I have ridden over the years for the Ride for Mike.

So, stay tuned! That story will be coming. Also, we’ll be sharing the date and place for the event. Both Mike and I wouldn’t mind having some company should anyone decide to join us. Finally, we’ll be working to provide the logistics of how you can give toward the I Do It For Foundation — the purpose of the funds will go to getting the foundation off the ground and get us started funding the development of the tools the foundation seeks to create to serve others.

Hey, I’m starting to get excited!