December 24, 2015

Just a note to express how “Grateful” I am to have such extraordinary people in my life. I had planned to mail out this message much earlier to say “Thank You” for supporting me in Cycle Oregon and for supporting Candlelighters. However my intentions were thrown off track by an accident that I sustained on the last day of the ride. My goal was to raise $5000.00 for Candlelighters which provides support to families that have a child battling cancer. I want to thank everyone who not only helped me reach that goal but helped me to exceed my goal by raising almost $6,000.

Fifty-two dedicated cyclist were riding for Candlelighters all cycling to reach their individual goal. As a group we raised over $180,000.00 this year for this event ride. Candlelighters “Ride for a Child” just completed its 14th year of supporting families with children with cancer. Over the last 14 years Candlelighters, “Ride for A Child” has raised over 1.6 million dollars that provides direct support for the families.

About the ride. We started our event in Baker City Oregon. On Day 1 we rode to the Oregon/Idaho border. Day 2 we rode to Cambridge Idaho. Day 3 we rode down into Hells Canyon and the Snake River Canyon only to reverse our ride back to Cambridge because of the forest fires in Halfway Oregon. As forest fires were raging out of control the directors of Cycle Oregon made the decision for 2200 cyclist and the Cycle Oregon Support team to return to our earlier site on the Oregon/Idaho border. Day 5 would take us back to Baker City. Day 6 we would head to La Grande Oregon to meet our honored Candlelighters kids. Some of our kids brought their bike and helmet and rode around our camp (La Grande High School). You can’t imagine how proud these kids were to ride around the perimeter of the school with their new cycling jerseys and the 52 cyclist all riding for Candlelighters. I will never forget the smiles on their faces as they rode their bikes as other Cycle Oregon participants applauded and encouraged them along their ride. The children joined us for dinner along with their parents and family that evening which was a true hi-light for the kids and cyclists. Day 7 we left La Grande for Baker City and the finish of Cycle Oregon 2015.

About the accident. Saturday, Day 7 we left early morning and set out for Baker City covering 65 beautiful back road miles. After 7 days of cycling and just over 450 miles of biking I could see the finish line as we approached the high school taking the path off the highway that would lead us to the end of an end epic ride and life experience for me. Less than 200 yards to go I hit a bad spot on the path falling, hitting my head and being knocked out. My friend attended to me while other cyclists called 911 for emergency help. I was taken by ambulance to Baker City Hospital and treated. Injuries: Concussion and AC joint separation to my right shoulder. My honored child Isabel was waiting at the finish line and after finding out that I had taken a fall her mother drove her to the hospital to check on me. Isabel brought me a gift to the hospital to cheer me up, “Cycle Oregon” pink socks. You might guess that pink is Isabel’s favorite color.

Again I would like to say “Thank You” to each and every one that made a donation to support this great cause. I plan on riding Cycle Oregon again this year and also will be riding to raise funds for Candlelighters!

Happy New Year! Jim