Boys and Girls Club Members Train for 75 Mile Charity Ride
A group of middle school and high school students is giving up sleeping in and relaxing all summer long, and getting up early to train for a 75-mile bike ride for charity.
The bikers are members of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Virginia and they're training for the annual Boys and Girls Club Cycling Challenge Ride at Old Trail Village in Crozet in September. The money raised by the ride, which last year was around $100,000, will go back to the Boys and Girls Club.
Some of the cycling club members, like Alexander Arebalo, are new to cycling long distances. "It's been pretty great so far," he said.
Arebalo, an upcoming sophomore at William Monroe High School, had never been into sports until now. He and the other members of the cycling club are continuing to increase their mileage during every ride, to challenge themselves, and to build up enough endurance for the final 75-mile challenge at the end of the summer.
"It's pretty hard in the beginning. I was pretty out of shape, but I'm getting up there, I'm getting better," he said.
Tim Laseter, a volunteer coach, said that cycling is teaching the kids life skills.
"It's a big confidence builder. It gets them in shape, fitness-wise, and I think they learn about being members of a team, commitment, training, and some of the discipline it takes to accomplish anything in life," he said.
The training sessions started in mid-April. While school was still in session, they trained on Mondays and Wednesdays after school. During the summer they've been training on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9 a.m..
Once school resumes, they'll go back to the after school schedule, and then start riding on Saturdays until their final ride: the Cycling Challenge Ride at Old Trail Village in Crozet.
Cycling Coach Melissa Ann Kibbe said the purpose of the training is "to prepare these kids not only for the ride, but for the rides of their lives."
On Friday, they had reached their highest mark yet, riding 40 miles, one step closer to their final goal of 75 miles.
"There are not that many people around as a percentage of the population that can go around and bike 75 miles, and these kids, some have already done it and some will be doing it this year," Laseter said.
The Boys and Girls Club Cycling Challenge will be on Sunday, September 16. Besides the 75-mile race there are several others that are shorter in length. For registration information, click here.
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