The co-chairs of Pedal for Alzheimer’s, Joshua Crisp and Michelle Brooke-Marciniak, announced the route for the upcoming October 7-17, 2018 ride today, and this year’s goal is to “Raise the Bar.” The 1,098-mile team cycling event honors and commemorates Pat Summitt’s 1,098 wins as the legendary coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteer basketball team. Formerly known as “Pedal for Pat,” this year the riders will cycle under the non-profit 501(c)(3) banner of Pedal for Alzheimer’s LTD. The event will kick-off on October 7 with a 65-mile day ride around Knoxville that is open to the general public. The official sendoff the next day will see the cyclists travel through The Great Smoky Mountains to North and South Carolina, down the Georgia and Florida coasts, and conclude on October 17 in Daytona Beach, Fla. The proceeds from this year’s fundraiser will benefit the Alzheimer’s Research Initiative at The University of Tennessee Medical Center.
Crisp, the founder, president and CEO of Solinity (a progressive senior living owner/operator), created the idea of Pedal for Pat in March 2017. He was joined by Brooke-Marciniak, SHEEX Inc., Co-Founder and University of Tennessee Lady Vol basketball Hall of Famer as event co-chair in July 2017. Together, they exceeded expectations for the inaugural ride by leading a team of eight cyclists over 1,098 miles to raise awareness and more than $100,000 to help families and seniors coping Alzheimer’s disease. The money benefitted The Pat Summitt Foundation and The Pat Summitt Alzheimer’s Clinic at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Pedal for Pat was such a success that Crisp and Brooke-Marciniak formed Pedal for Alzheimer’s to broaden the scope of those individuals and families affected by the disease.
“My goal last year was to challenge myself and start a movement to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s, and our success made it clear that we needed to return to our bikes and hold the event again this year,” said Crisp. “By adding teams to ride halfway and incorporating day riders in this year’s event, we are expanding to include more people who couldn’t join us last year for various reasons. I am thrilled to co-chair the event with Michelle again, and I am thankful for everyone on the team, our board and all volunteers. I want people to know that every dollar counts, so whether they can join for a week or for a day, it’s worth it!”
The route will challenge the “1,098 cyclists” team as they complete roughly 100 miles a day and reach higher elevations as they head straight through the Great Smoky Mountains. In addition to the core team, other cyclists will complete either the first or second half of the ride as “Orange Team” or “Purple Team” respectively, and day riders can sign up for the first day, Greenville day ride or Charleston day ride. Overnight stops along the way will be in Asheville, N.C.; Greenville, S.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Columbia, S.C.; Charleston, S.C.; Savannah, Ga.; St. Simmons Island, Ga.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Daytona Beach, Fla.
“Last year’s ride was so personally meaningful to me for so many reasons, and I am grateful to work side by side with Josh again,” Brooke-Marciniak said. “To ride for Pat, the woman who coached me, mentored me and was a friend to me for 33 years of my life, is a true blessing. So many tears fell during the ride just thinking of how Alzheimer’s took Pat away from us all. As we pedaled 1,098 miles through some grueling hours on our bikes, the bittersweet emotion of doing something so far out of your comfort zone became a point of parallel for all those who are suffering from Alzheimer’s. As I now know full and well, Alzheimer’s does not discriminate as I watched it take down my strong and beloved coach. And so we will ride again, to fight, to give our time, our energy and our resources.”
Cyclists committed to the ride this year currently include Crisp, Brooke-Marciniak, Brandon “Monk” Feehery, Crit Life pro cyclist; Pam Bettis-Tanner, former basketball athlete and coach, breast cancer survivor; Chris West, a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and director of Clinical Delivery Strategy; Rick Taylor, senior vice president/partner of Silversphere; Matt Padgett, founder of Keystone Mortgage; and Brandon Bruce, co-owner of Cirrus Insight. Mark Bottom, an inaugural Pedal for Pat cyclist, basketball coach and former law enforcement officer, will join the 1,098 Cyclists for the second half of the event.
Each team member is committed to raising at least $10,000, and day riders will contribute $65. Day rides open to the public will be in Knoxville, Greenville and Charleston. This year’s title sponsors include Solinity, SHEEX and Podium Sports Medicine. Hincapie Sportswear is the official designer of Pedal for Alzheimer’s, and the company’s co-owner, five-time Olympian and Tour de France veteran George Hincapie will join the cyclists on October 10. Crisp encourages other interested individuals to join or sponsor the team, cheer the team on along the route, as well as sponsor a rider, donate in honor of a loved one or ride with the team for a day. Interested cyclists can sign-up at www.pedalforalzheimers.org.