Last Friday, 140 people from the community came together for the Athletic Performance Center 24-Hour Bike Challenge and biked more than 3,435 miles for the Kids ‘N Community Foundation.
The event began on Friday at 5 p.m. and ended on Saturday at 5 p.m. The participants made up eight recreational teams and one elite team to compete and raise money for the Foundation. Each team was required to have a person riding on their stationary bike the entire 24 hours. Jaime Holt, physical therapist at APC, brought the bike challenge to life in 2011.
This year, Hurricanes defenseman Joe Corvo pledged to donate 50 cents for every mile biked during the challenge and even rode for one of the teams himself.
“It was something that when I was signed back here, my wife and I wanted to do,” Corvo said.
In addition to this pledge, after a few hours of biking, Corvo unexpectedly announced that he would donate an additional $50 for every time that one of the 300 pound tires at the APC was flipped. All participants were able to attempt once and could use as many people as they wanted to help. The tire was flipped 30 times bringing Corvo’s total donation to $3,248.13.
The event was filled with entertainment including a live DJ from Linda Craft & Team and a live acoustic guitarist. During the late night hours between Friday night and Saturday morning, sports movies and Hurricanes highlights from throughout the years were shown. Meals were provided by Rudino’s, ERMI, and Chick-fil-A to feed the hungry riders.
Members from the Eye Care Associates Storm Squad came by on Saturday with Stormy to cheer on the riders. Brooke and Ashley Virginia hopped on the bikes and guest rode for two teams, and Stormy took his turn for the Hurricanes staff.
Teams were surprised by mystery guest riders that included former Hurricanes players Rod Brind’Amour, Glen Wesley, Jesse Boulerice, Shane Willis, Steve Rice and Jeff Daniels. They each rode two 30-minute shifts for different teams to give them fresh legs and bump up their mileage. The top three teams in mileage received prizes from the Hurricanes.
As a participant, this event truly tests one’s limits, both emotionally and physically. The Hurricanes staff team learned its lesson quickly during the first year of the event. We knew that it was crucial to get more than nine riders for the 24-hour challenge. With sixteen riders this year, we were able to split up the time in 10- and 15-minute shifts with some riders coming in to pump out half-hour or even hour-long shifts. Teamwork was essential and the encouragement, friendly competition between our teammates and knowing the good we were doing for the kids kept us pedaling.
The camaraderie was also evident throughout all of the 140 participants. The energy was lively for the entire event, and everyone was cheered on in good will. It was amazing to see the investment that everyone made in giving up some of their weekend to give back to our community.
The 2012 APC 24-Hour Bike Challenge raised more than $12,000 for the Kids ‘N Community Foundation. The Foundation donated $534,852 in monetary grants to 53 different North Carolina non-profit children’s charities in the 2011-12 season.
Thank you to Jaime Holt, the Athletic Performance Center staff, the sponsors, the participants and the donors who supported the event. We hope you will join us at the Bike Challenge next year! I will be sure to start training soon.
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