A victory for cyclists & cancer patients: 8th annual Ride to Rosemary

Updated: Oct. 4, 2018 at 3:43 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A road-tested small army of pink and black clad cyclists rolled into Rosemary Beach, Florida, to the cheers of loved ones on Wednesday, Oct. 3.

The 525-mile marathon from Germantown to the Gulf of Mexico is now all in their rear-view mirror, a Herculean effort benefitting West Cancer Center.

“We do this honestly because we men need it,” said Chuck Bolton, a race organizer who says this eighth annual “Ride to Rosemary” (R2R) grew to 32 cyclists this year. “Many of us have been touched by cancer. I lost my mother 18 months ago and my wife had breast cancer two years ago. Over 75% of the riders have direct family members affected by cancer.”

Victorious images taken on Rosemary Beach show the riders huddled in a large circle arm in arm.

(Source: Ride to Rosemary (custom credit))

“It’s a venue where we help each other get through some hard times on the road. We unplug from the business of everyday and get real. We become a band of brothers,” Bolton said.

Another picture of the R2R Class of 2018 shows a smiling group of men, some holding their bike aloft.

(Source: Ride to Rosemary (custom credit))

“It requires months of training including numerous days and hours on a bike each week,” wrote Bob Williamson, executive coach and speaker and Team Dynamics Consultant, one of the 32 hearty souls who made the five-day ride starting on Saturday Sept. 29 to the Florida Gulf Coast.

Williamson began his training in March, six months before the late-September start from West Cancer Center.

“Growth happens outside our comfort zone,” wrote Williamson, "and big goals create a tension we need to stretch beyond. A commitment to big goals helps create a system for personal growth.”

The website for R2R says “this charitable 5 day cycling event promotes cancer awareness, encourages a healthy lifestyle and raises funds for the WINGS Supportive Care Division to provide West Cancer Center patients with the support and resources they need for their cancer journey and beyond – whether it is spiritual support, nutrition services, transportation to and from treatment, or access to screening services for the underserved in the Mid-South community – at no additional cost to the patient.”

The team cycling event was founded by Wolf River Racing in Memphis top benefit the WINGS Supportive Care Division of the University of Tennessee/ West Institute for Cancer Research. The R2R started with nine riders eight years ago.

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