Tag Archives: Charity Ride

2016 Ride for Mike is for the future

Since 2007 I have ridden an organized event in memory of my friend Mike McCaskill. Mike finished his battle with cancer that year. He died shortly before I rode my first-ever metric century ride in his honor. It was the beginning of something much larger.

For several years, I continued to participate in organized rides with Mike as my inspiration. My focus turned from taking part in charity rides for non-profits to trying to help individuals with needs. This allowed me to see directly how the money I was raising was being used.

The next evolution was the creation of the I Do It For Foundation. What if there were thousands of people around the country completing their own “Rides For ____”? With the foundation, my pledge to remember Mike could continue beyond my ability to ride. So began IDoItFor.org.

Riding a bicycle is one thing, but starting and building a foundation is another! With the help of friends and the team at Worthwhile, I was able to get things rolling.  Tens of thousands of dollars have gone to help individuals in need.

That brings us to 2016. This is the first year that the foundation has the full recognition as a non-profit with 501(c)(3) status. Now that the status has been achieved, it is as though we are beginning again! We’re looking to 2017 with a new level of confidence.


Our goal for this year is $20,000. The funds will be going to kickstart the foundation incorporating some of the lessons we have learned. It will also help cover expenses related to new I Do It For programs.

  • IDoItFor.org updates to better present the projects and make starting a project simpler
  • Production of I Do It For items to help promote awareness of the foundation
  • Administrative expenses – bank charges, software licenses, processing fees, etc.
  • Online promotion — Google Adwords, Facebook boosts, Twitter sponsor links, etc.

So, on September 30 I will leave Greenville, SC to ride to my boyhood home of Bladenboro, NC. I’ll be covering the 240 miles in honor of my dad who suffered a massive stroke this year. I want this to be an encouragement to him while at the same time allowing him to have a part in helping to support the foundation.

Windell Pait is a man of character and humility whose reputation in his community is one of honesty and charity. He is the man I want to be. He represents the values underlying this foundation. I cannot think of a better person for my Inspiration during this year’s ride.

My original intent was to cover the distance in one day. However, friends have come along side who want to be a part of the adventure. In order to make this possible, I am dividing the ride into two days. We will leave Greenville the morning of September 30 and arrive in Bladenboro the evening of October 1.

If you would like to ride with us, contact me at jpait@idoitfor.org. If you can’t join me, please consider giving to this year’s campaign. $20,000 is a very ambitious goal! However, it is a necessary target to move the foundation to the next level. Give today at IRideFor.org/Windell.

A little help, please!

Each March for the last couple years, I have participated in a ride that raises money for a particular capital project on the Bob Jones University campus, where I work in the Alumni Association. Well, this coming Saturday (March 17, 2012) I’ll be back out there on the .8 mile circuit turning laps for 5 hours. What does this have to do with you? Maybe nothing… but maybe something.

I need some folks to sponsor me. You can sponsor me per mile. I’ll just go ahead and tell you that I have averaged about 90 miles over the last two years. Of course, you can pledge any amount per mile.

A photograph from the March 2011 BJU The Ride

A photograph from the March 2011 BJU The Ride

Here are some stories from the past events…

This could very well be the last time BJU The Ride will take place. The organizer for the last several years is now graduating and unless someone else steps forward to take his place, this will be it. So, I want to give it a good go of it.

Pledging is easy. Just go to BJUTheRide.org and fill out the form. You will find my name listed in the drop down list under “Choose a ride to sponsor.”

Ride for the McKnight’s

On June 11, 2011 there will be a special opportunity for the Upstate cycling community to reach out to one of their own. Beginning at 8 AM until 1 PM at the SCTAC (Donaldson Center) that Greenville Spinners and Freewheelers’ of Spartanburg will be holding a ride to raise money for the McKnight family. The event, offering routes of 28 and 60 miles, is open to the public and there is no fee for the ride.

Last month the McKnight family learned that Ed has ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and could use your support. It costs an average of $200,000 a year to maintain an ALS patient, and though insurance is covering some, and Jean is keeping costs down as much as possible by providing 24/7 care herself, they’re running through savings fast.

Many in the cycling coummunity may be familiar with Jean’s legendary Turtle Rides or as a leader of WOW (Women on Wheels) rides. She’s helped many people get started in cycling and feel welcomed. Now is the chance for the community to help Jean and her husband Ed. Read more about why Jean’s friends are behind this event.

After the ride a free lunch including a burnt hot dog smorgasbord by Dave Proctor along with an assortment of soft drinks and sweet treats will be provided for all registered participants. Look forward to lots of great stuff at a silent auction.

100% of any donations go to the McKnight’s, all ride costs are sponsored.
Consider participating both by riding and giving.

You can also give before the event (or if you can’t make it) by stopping by any BB&T or SCBT Bank and say you want to deposit money into Jean and Ed McKnight’s account. The only possible way to give online is through PayPal. Go here designating your gift to jean.mcknight@rocketmail.com.

Ride Details

When: Saturday, June 11, 2011 with an 8 AM start
Where: SCTAC (Donaldson Center)

28 and 60 mile rides with mechanical support by the Great Escape Bicycle Shop and a SAG vehicle. Rest areas with liquids and snacks on route.

Download marked course and route sheets.
60 mile route
28 mile route

Sun, rain, wind, and hail

It was time at noon on Saturday to start my fundraising ride for BJU The Ride. The goal was to get as many miles possible during a five hour period riding around a .85 mile course. Yes, you read that right… 5 hours going around a .85 mile loop. I’m still going round and round in my head!

The coolest thing about the whole day (other than the weather) was the fact that my son rode over to the event with me. It was his first ride on his new Specialized Allez! He earned it working hard in school and getting this multiplication tables memorized. I kept looking over at him with a big smile on my face. Yep, life was good.

We got there and we started right up. On the first lap it was obvious it was going to be a tough day! After the nice slightly downhill where we were protected somewhat from the wind by large buildings, we made a right hand turn into a howling headwind. It was going to be a long day for my friends, Eric, Dave, Mike, Kirk, Chris, and me.

2010 The Ride

The six official participants finish a lap (Photo Eddie Helton)

Not only was that headwind strong, it was coming straight down the only major climb on the course. It made that 40 feet or so of climbing that much harder. Before the day was done, I would hit that climb and wind 105 times.

The road then curved that made the headwind turn into a crosswind. Turning another corner put you on another downhill — but back into the headwind. Really, on the whole course, you only had one short respite from the wind.

Jonathan Jr. hung with us for several laps. His little body was nearly being stopped by the wind! I tried to work with him to help him find shelter, but it was his first group ride and he wasn’t that confident coming in close to some of the other bikes. It was a little too much for him. I was proud of him though and he did well! I’m looking forward to riding more with him in the days, months, and years ahead.

I was very fearful about the rain. The forecast was calling for it. Thankfully, we only got a few brief showers for the most part. There were a few times when there was rain on the back side of the course and dry as a bone on the front side. Overall, the rain was not an issue. Until later in the ride…

Before long it was every man for himself. The varying riding abilities of the different riders made it so that it was hard to stay together. A few times I thought I was pulling the crew and looking back realized I had dropped them. I mean one of these guys hadn’t ridden in some time. He finished all five hours!

It was really neat to see Eddie Helton show up for the ride. Racers will recognize him as the photographer that takes some great pictures of our events here in the Greenville area. He was so kind to take some pictures of our little event AND get out his bike and ride with us! Several other riders came over to encourage us as we made our laps. It made my heart warm on an otherwise cool day.

Kirk Flinte was there and we ended up connecting and riding for a good bit of time. The two of us put in some hot laps, but for the most part just rode tempo and talked. Shortly before the four hour mark, Kirk went in front of me and pulled me through the wind for about 10 minutes. Then he was gone and I was alone again.

I eased up a bit in that final hour. My legs were starting to let me know they hadn’t ridden this far since October! The wind picked up even worse and the clouds were threatening. The last 30 minutes could be brutal!

With only about 15 minutes to go, I was starting up that climb into the wind. It had just started the rain and the wind was whipping my bike about. Then the rain started to hurt! It was like it was cutting my face. “What is going on?” I thought to myself. I had to bind my head to keep the rain from hitting my face.

As I looked down, I noticed the “rain” was bouncing! “That’s not rain,” I thought. “It’s hailing!” Then I made that turn from the crosswind to a headwind. I could not look up to see where I was going. Thankfully, the brim of my cycling cap was protecting my face.

Before the lap was complete, the hail let up and not longer afterward the rain did as well. The wind never did. It fought us the entire time.

I have ridden 100+ mile numerous times in 5 hours. This was one of the hardest rides I have attempted. The course wasn’t exactly thrilling, but it was the conditions that made it hard.

One thing I know. It is the hard rides that you remember the longest. The easy rides are most enjoyable at the time, but they are so many they all meld together. “Remember that ride where we got hailed on?” Any one of us can say that and it will bring the ride back into full focus.

The funny thing is that time will make the pain enjoyable.

Help me recycle

How about a little help here. I’ve signed up to ride with some students who are seeking to raise some money for a building project here on campus. They are really putting a lot into this and I sure would love to see them be successful. How about sparing a few dollars to help out?

The Ride Web site

The Ride Web site

Several years ago the original “The Ride” was put on by some students. One of those is now in University of South Carolina law school. Another is serving in Iraq. Those guys are long gone, but a new crop of students with a fascination for two wheels has come along to “recycle” the idea.

Typically, there is only one fund raiser that I promote on this site — my RideForMike.com project each year. However, you can get into this one pretty cheap and it would be interesting to see how much we can pull together in the next couple of weeks.

So, please consider pledging a few cents a mile. I figure the absolute most miles I’d be able to get in is around 150. So, you’re not looking at a huge amount!

You can make your pledge at this Web site. Thank you very much. I’ll be sure to report back with what the site brings in.

My Ride for Mike – the 2007 P3 ride

The bed felt great last night, but the sleep was fitful. Laying there the stiffness in my shoulders and back were noticeable. Finally the ibuprofen kicked in and sleep came. 5:15 came all the earlier.

Happily, I woke up with less stiffness. A quick shower and I was off to McDonald’s to get my favorite morning pre-ride meal: a steak, egg and cheese bagel along with some black coffee. After getting back home and putting my stuff together, I was out the door to make it do the starting line for the Palmetto Peloton Project by 6:30.

The sky was overcast and the air was cool. If it didn’t rain, this was going to be a perfect day! You might think you want sunshine, but I’ll take a cool overcast day.

After some announcements, we rode off in the brightening morning shortly after 7:00. I started off near the front – maybe 30 or so riders ahead. We were going at what I figured was a good pace, but I wasn’t sure. I had forgotten my computer! I would be riding this one blind.

By the time I reached the overpass of Poinsett Highway, I was sitting in third. I eased off though as we neared the base of Paris Mountain. I said to myself, “Ride you own ride, don’t get caught up with the pace of those around you.” So, I put it in the granny gear and just took my time on the climb. Yep, I got passed several times, but I kept my cadence. I didn’t have my computer, but I had done this enough to know how my pace feels.

I passed a couple of the people back before reaching the KOM. Then we head down the other side. I connected with a guy in a Clemson kit and I came off of Paris with what I figured to be 10 or so riders in front of me. At that point I connected with two other riders and we stayed together back to the start-finish line.

As we passed beneath the sign, I asked the guy beside me, “What was our time?” He replied, “1:09.” My plan was working! Now, if I could just do that again, I’d be in business. It seemed possible because we had a group of about five riders and if we formed a pace line, maybe we could make it easy on all of us.

About that time, the rider who had given me the time had a flat. His friend eased off and we were down to three. Then by the time we reached Pete Hollis, the other two riders dropped back. Now it was just me. Of course, going alone on this route was nothing new for me. So, I just dug in and went on alone.

Turning off of Pete Hollis onto Old Buncombe, I could see the other five riders up ahead. I tried to take my time to bridge the gap, but I did want to catch them. Two lights later I caught them and something about me catching them made them decide to turn up the wick. I felt like saying, “Hey, I just worked to catch you guys! Give me a chance to catch my breath!”

We continued our pace line over Poinsett. It was fun. However, I started figuring my place in the group and realized that I was getting set up to pull the group up that last part of Buncombe before Paris! I tried not to think they were doing it on purpose 🙂

I did as much as I could, but just about at that point my body started tiring. Just past Choice Hills Baptist Church I pulled over and said, “Sorry guys, that’s it for me.” Off they went leaving me in the dust. I arrived at the base of Paris for my second climb alone.

Oh boy, I had set in my mind to try three laps. The way I was feeling at this point, I was thinking I would be glad to just get two! The ride was uneventful, though I ended up getting passed by I think three people before the KOM. Once we got there, I noticed they had stopped by the side of the road and I just kept going.

At the Big Lots parking lot I stopped to get some fluids. They were very kind, but I could tell they were wondering why I was in such a hurry. “I’m trying to make it by 9:30. What time is it?” “It’s 9:13,” came the reply. Ooooo, that was going to be tough. Still, the banana and Powerade gave me a kick and I felt pretty good.

The hills on Main gave me a test and I figured at that point I wasn’t going to make it. Still, I kept at it all alone. As I came into Cleveland Park I was overtaken by a rider I remembered from earlier in the ride. I hung with him for a bit, he left me, and then I caught up with him just as we crossed the finish line.

I had no idea what the time was, but as we rode by ride coordinator he said to us, “If you’re going to go for three – now is the time to go.” I actually thought about it. By the time I neared the traffic light I decided against it. It was enough for me to know that I had given enough in those first two laps to make the third possible. Once I stopped, I figured I had come in at around 9:34.

44 miles in just around two hours and thirty minutes. I have to be pretty happy about it.
I can remember several times when the going got rough thinking, “Mike didn’t quit.” I kept thinking of him and pushing on. Thanks to all of you who donated to my Ride For Mike. I’ll be doing another ride in his memory next year – but I’m not sure it will be the Palmetto Peloton Project.

A real quick entry

I’ve got to get in bed. Tomorrow morning is the Stars and Stripes Charity ride. I’m going to have to get up pretty early to be ready to get down there so I don’t have to start at the rear of the group. My mood is apprehensive.

I rode yesterday – which I shouldn’t have – and then rode again this morning and pushed pretty hard. I’m very sore in my shoulders. Here’s hoping I’ll feel better tomorrow morning. If I don’t, I’m not going to try for three laps. If I don’t try for three laps, all of this is just going to be anticlimactic.

Good night all!

Ride for Mike update

Last night was the NASCAR All Star Race in Charlotte. A year ago I was sitting just before turn one with Mike. I also played in a golf tournament yesterday on a course where I last played a round of golf with Mike. My mind went to him several times yesterday.

God is great. God is good. We don’t always understand how that goodness plays out in our lives. He knows that there is something more important than just our physical happiness — even this temporal life is not as important as our eternal existence. I simply have to trust that He has a GOOD plan in the suffering that Mike must face at this time.

God is also GREAT and He can heal Mike. It is one of those things where you just have to pray for what your heart desires having a willingness to accept the answer which ever way it goes. So, my prayer for Mike is that he will be healed, but above all that he will have grace to continue to be a testimony in his trial and even in the suffering grow into a greater relationship with his God.

Anyway, the update is that the fund has reached $935! I imagine it will slow down a tad now, but I still have until September to reach the minimum goal of $1500. Thanks againt to all who have participated.