Tag Archives: Rebekah Grace Ellis

A knife to a gun fight

Yesterday morning I obeyed my coach and headed to the base of Piney Mountain to get in some more interval training. The efforts were followed by some steady endurance riding until I used up my time. The evening was a contrast as I took my bicycle to a Cruise In at the Lil’ Rebel restaurant.

The weather that morning was great. It was a cool morning and as I continued with my intervals some clouds moved in to cover the sun that began to climb up the horizon. I needed the relief because the efforts were a challenge.

Last time I did this, I pushed it pretty hard for about 90 seconds. This time I decided to make the intervals to the top of the hill. This stretched out my time for the climb to between 2:10 and 2:20. Granted, I backed things off a little so that I could pace myself up, but I still averaged over 350 watts for everyone and close to 400 for several.

By the way, why does he have me doing this? One of the goals I have had for several years and have never accomplished is a 11:15 climb up Paris Mountain. If it was just my confidence in myself I was depending on, I would just give that up.

Where my confidence is in what I know my coach has been able to do for me in the past. I know that if I just keep doing these workouts I will have the best chance ever to reach that goal.  I’m excited to see how I improve over the next several weeks.

What really should be training for is a loooooong endurance effort. I’ve got to start thinking about the 2011 Ride for Mike. I have never ridden 220 miles before. Sure, I’ve ridden 7 centuries in a row, but that is a bit different than doing two centuries back-to-back.

Rebekah Grace Ellis

Becca poses with the car show trophies

That brings us to the Cruise In. I was there with my family to show support to the Ellis family. It was kind of funny looking around as I rolled my bicycle up toward the check-in booth. All around me was everything from rat rods to finely restored, award winning automobiles.

I was joining with the crowd because they too were there helping support the Ellis family. The organizers gave me the opportunity to explain what I was doing and why. We handed out some flyers and I showed off the Felt to some of the car guys.

Antique trike

The white box is supposed to contain an electric motor.

All-in-all it was an enjoyable evening. I was reminded again for the good many people do day in and day out — both as individuals and as a community. You can help people doing something you love — whether you are riding a bicycle or showing off your restored car.

So where are we going for the 2011 Ride for Mike?

The ride will be a 240 mile ride from Greenville, SC to Charleston, SC. What makes the ride unique for this distance is that it will all be accomplished in one day. It is the longest distance I’ve ever ridden. The date for the ride will be October 24, 2011. This will be a solo ride except for those cases where friends along the route come out to ride along with me. The Beautiful Redhead, Annette, will once again  follow as my “support crew.”

Little Rebekah Grace Ellis has spent much time at Greenville Hospital and the Medical University of South Carolina. That is why this year’s route will cover the distance between the two hospitals. Maybe you can’t ride along, but you can help encourage me along the way by participating in the project.

The 2011 Ride for Mike

But wait! That’s not all! I’m also making plans for another ride that will take place on October 22. The plan is for an informal ride (pending approval) for families along the Swamp Rabbit Trail with a picnic waiting in Travelers Rest. Depending on Rebekah’s health we look forward to her joining us on the ride.

I’m certainly open for a little help on both these rides. I’d like some feedback from folks on what they think would be the best route to take down to Charleston. Also, it would be great to have some volunteer help for the family ride.

One thing I’ve learned about these things is that sometimes you just have to kick your shoes off and dive in. It seemed to work in 2010! Thank you to all of you who have already expressed your support this year. Stay tuned to the 2011 Ride for Mike page for some fun fund raising options and to learn more about the family ride.

Oh, and don’t forget to give a donation!

Here comes the 2011 Ride for Mike!

It has been a long time coming, but I can finally start the process of a project I am very excited about. All the pieces are now coming into place for the 2011 Ride for Mike. While the ride is always to remember my friend Mike McCaskill, the funds raised have normally gone to “the greater good.” This time, I get to target the ride for little Rebekah Grace Ellis.

I’m excited about it because I am able to see the help given impact her directly. It also helps me formulate a plan for how to give others this same opportunity. Mostly, I’m excited because I’m certain this is a project that would make Mike smile.

Rebekah Grace Ellis

2011 Ride for Mike helps Rebekah Grace Ellis

Who is Rebekah Grace Ellis? She is a little girl born in 2009 with DiGeorge Syndrome. As a result of this genetic disorder, she has Truncus Arteriosus, which is a complex congenital heart defect (CHD). She had her first open heart surgery on July 7, 2009, and a complete repair on November 5, 2010.

The surgeon was unable to create a right pulmonary artery, so she has only one working lung. Because of this, her heart repair created high pressures in her heart, and as I write this she is currently at the Medical University of South Carolina undergoing a heart catheterization. This is just one more step for little Rebekah as she tries to grow and strengthen.

Rebekah’s parents, Drew and Nancy Ellis, have been friends of ours since they were attending college. We currently attend Suber Road Baptist Church in Greer, South Carolina. It has given me an opportunity to watch the family – Rebekah also has four brothers – as they have faced this trial together.

While the Ellis family does receive support that covers some of the major medical items. There are many incidental and on-going expenses associated with her illness. At the same time, Drew has returned to school after losing a job in construction.

When I first started to plan for the 2011 Ride for Mike, I realized that helping the Ellis family with their medical expenses could actually hurt them. I needed to find a way to shelter them from the tax implications of money given to them. Of course, I also realized that making it possible for folks to give and receive a tax deduction never hurts fundraising efforts!

It was then I discovered Helping Hands Ministries which has a unique position among tax deductible charities. HHM is able to receive funds for individuals and use those funds to help for specific medical needs. This morning word came through that Rebekah’s fund was approved!

Soon I will have the 2011 Ride for Mike page created. I’ll announce at that time what the route will be. I’ll also announce a family ride that we will do in conjunction with my “epic event.” Of course, I’ll be announcing some of my fundraising goals as well. However, you can get a head start by going to the Helping Hands Ministries donation page and give a gift for little Rebekah today.

Steps to give:

  1. Go to the Helping Hands Ministries donations page.
  2. Choose “Medical Projects” from the Project Category option.
  3. Select “Rebekah Grace Ellis” from the Project list.
  4. Fill out the remainder of the form and click Submit.

It’s that simple to make a difference in a little girl’s life. It’s that simple to help bring encouragement and support to a family. The money helps, but the knowledge of knowing people care is greater.