After surviving cancer twice I attended the 2005 Ride for the Roses in Austin, Texas. This event was so inspiring that when I came home I wanted to inspire other cancer survivors and people to bike.
This is how Cycling For Cancer came to be. My wife introduced to me one of her co-workers (Tyler Sweeting) that was really enthusiastic about riding. Tyler and I started planning informal rides around the Finger Lakes and surrounding area as well as compete in local Duathlons, 5k’s, and bike races together. We had shirts and jerseys made up that we would wear in any event we competed in just to try and raise awareness. We would talk about how someday it would be great to actually create a team together based off our Cycling For Cancer group.
I was also a member of the Western New York Wellness program and it was there that I met Dwight Roth. Dwight was a chaperon of the Monday night wellness rides and would share his race stories with us as he took us through the roads of Mendon Ponds Park. Eventually Tyler started coming out and riding with all the cancer survivors too. It is here where Tyler and I would continue to question Dwight about racing and how to get started.
This continued for a couple of years as Tyler and I continued to ride and formulate a plan. We eventually joined the Genesse Valley Cycling Club (GVCC) in 2010 and tried our hand at racing. Near the end of the season we were sure racing is what we wanted to do to try and help spread cancer awareness and decided to create the Cycling For Cancer team together.
Tyler and I recruited Kevin Hill whom I had met in 2005 at the Ride For The Roses event to the team and then proceeded to search for sponsors. I am fortunate enough to have made a great many contacts working for my employer Rochester Drug Cooperative, Inc. It is through them that I met Robin Willmott who is the Executive Director of Quality Care Pharmacies and also a cancer survivor. Robin’s company, along with Rochester Drug, and EFP Rotenberg, LLC agreed to sponsor our team for the upcoming season.
We were also fortunate enough to recruit our mentor Dwight Roth to the team as well. Dwight has been a great friend and motivator for us over the years that we have known him.
I would like to also thank my wife and Tyler for the years of continued support and encouragement. Without them this group and team would not exist. I am very lucky to have family and friends like them.
“WE RACE BECAUSE WE CAN”