This past June, IPmetrics’ own David Drews took on the Great Cycle Challenge to help raise funds for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. This post is his account of meeting the challenge, achieving beyond his goals, and ending up as the No. 2 fundraiser in California and 17th place nationwide among more than 12,500 riders.
A Challenging Journey
The Great Cycle Challenge is over for 2015 (but you can still donate to the Children’s Cancer Research Fund all year long! www.childrenscancer.org ), so I thought I’d post a summary of my Challenge journey. Sorry for the length of this post, but a lot has happened over the last month.
Scott Ussery, a high-school friend, introduced me to the Challenge. I checked out the charity and they were good stewards, with only ~ 5% of proceeds used for administrative purposes, and it certainly is a great cause, so I decided to sign up. When I started, I had no idea what to expect in terms of donations. A 1:10 ratio seemed appropriate (1 mile for every $10 raised) and I thought I could probably ride 250 miles during June, being cognizant of the likelihood of stuff coming up and work intervening. That being the case, I set my ridership goal at 250 and my fundraising goal at $2,500.
I went on the Great Cycle Challenge website and looked through the kids’ biographies. Although it wasn’t a requirement, I selected Landon, a five-year old boy with liver cancer, as my unofficial mascot (pictured).
I let everyone know that I was doing this via Facebook and emails, and I started riding. By June 5th, I had generated $500 in sponsorship donations and $1,000 by June 9th. I was astounded and inspired by the generosity of people in my circle of family and friends! As I had anticipated, stuff came up and work intervened, but I kept on riding anyway. In fact, I was inspired to ride longer distances than I would probably have done otherwise.
On June 15th, I learned that Landon, my mascot, had passed away. I’m not much of a crier, but I had tears in my eyes that day and on my ride the next day. I rededicated myself to the cause and redoubled my efforts, both in terms of fundraising and riding.
By June 19th, I had reached my fundraising goal and was on the verge of reaching my ridership goal, so I updated both to $3,500 and 350 miles, respectively. The donations kept coming in and I kept doing the rides, whether I felt like it or not. By June 25th, both of my goals were within sight, and I made a final plea for donations. I also had just completed what would be my longest ride of the Challenge: 66.7 miles.
You guys did not disappoint me! My updated fundraising goal was not only met, but surpassed by almost $700! Seeing as how I had started with a 1:10 ratio in mind, I decided I needed to pick up the pace of my riding to make sure that the ratio would be honored on my end. I finished yesterday with a 58 mile ride, making my total 427 miles for the month.
After all is said and done, with your help I raised $4,186.53 for pediatric cancer research, which was good enough to rank me 17th nationwide out of 12,582 riders. Your amazing level of charity has enhanced my opinion of the American people in general, and you guys in particular.