Achilles International Houston, Bike Barn, Brittle Bone Disease, Dog Star Pics, Fox News, handcycle, Iraq Veteran, KPRC News, Memorial Park, No Opportunity Wasted, recumbent trike, Team RBW, Team Red, USMC, White & Blue
My cycling buddy & Achilles teammate Jeff – otherwise known as Iraq Veteran USMC Jeff Chaffin – is going to ride 200 miles in 24 hours on his handcycle this weekend! Why?
He’s raising money to purchase a boy with Brittle Bone Disease a handcycle of his very own.
I’ll be joining Jeff on my recumbent trike when he begins his ride of Mayhem on Friday evening (8:30PM) at Memorial Park. We’ve ridden together before but Jeff always leaves me in his dust, so my hope is that he’ll start out with a slightly easier pace this time – especially given how far & long he’s going to be riding. Please, Jeff, have mercy on me 🙂
Jeff is what I’d call a No Opportunity Wasted kind of guy, and nothing proves it more than his devotion to Ethan. They only just met, but that didn’t stop Jeff from vowing to make a difference in Ethan’s life. It happened like this.
Jeff was coming home to Houston from a race event with Team RBW (Red, White & Blue) in Philidelphia. When the flight he was supposed to be on was delayed he had a chance encounter with Ethan & his family in the airport terminal. Ethan & Jeff swapped stories. Which is to say, they made a connection.
Jeff knows better than most what it’s like to not be able to move through the day-to-day with the ease of the able-bodied, without limitations or the concern for safety. He also knows what it’s like to lose the sensations of feeling powerful, independent & free with regard to one’s body & motion. Which is to say, Jeff recognized something of himself in young Ethan. He saw a boy who desperately desired a way to be (safely) active & a-part-of, a way to play with other kids his age. Jeff saw a kid who wanted to M-O-V-E; to feel strong; to go fast. Yeah, Jeff certainly knows about all of that.
So he conceived a plan. And then he took action.
He established the Ethan Yamashita Handcycling Fund. Riding a handcycle has transformed Jeff’s life; now he’s determined to give that same gift of transformation to seven-year-old Ethan. Hence, 200 miles in 24 hours on a handcycle. Like I said, he’s a No Opportunity Wasted kind of guy.
What are you doing this weekend? I can’t think of a better way to start off your weekend than bearing witness to someone in the act of making the world a better, safer, more joy-filled place for a child in need.
If you ride or run, come out tomorrow evening (Friday, July 12th) & Saturday, do a lap or two with us. Come out & clap your hands, wave a sign or a pom-pom, Whoop! & Holler. As the miles start to really add up, energy flags & the thermometer begins to rise, encouragement will make all the difference to reaching his goal.
The cycling loop at Memorial Park begins/ends right there by the water fountains/bathrooms on Picnic Ln (park near the sand volleyball courts). There will be folks in Achilles T-shirts,
the good people of Bike Barn, the handsome & uber-talented photography dude from Dog Star Pics (AKA my husband Gary), balloons, bikes, recumbent trikes, wheelchairs & handcycles – and a fluffy golden service dog
– whom I met on the Lone Star Bike MS 150 this year. I also invited my friend Don Teague from My Fox Houston (local Fox news) – who interviewed me last year (& later adopted our foster
horse dog Elvis). So I’m really hoping these cycle-lovin’ guys accept my invitation to ride with us (or at least cheer us on) for a little while. Who knows, maybe there’ll be a news team cycling face-off? :0)
Please, consider donating to this fabulous endeavor. Because, seriously, what could possibly be more rewarding than being a part of the manifestation of a child’s dream?
Here’s the great story that local Fox News did on Jeff & Ethan.
Take the ramp on the left onto I-45 N – 23.8 mi
Take exit 47B for Memorial Dr – 0.4 mi
Merge onto Houston Ave – 151 ft
Turn left onto N Memorial Way – 0.1 mi
Take the ramp on the left onto Memorial Dr – 0.2 mi
Slight left to stay on Memorial Dr – 1.1 mi
Slight left to stay on Memorial Dr – 2.8 mi
Turn left onto Picnic Ln – 459 ft
Arrive at: N Picnic Ln & park across from the sand volleyball courts, closest to the bathrooms & picnic loop.
From 610, exit Woodway or Memorial, you’ll be coming onto Memorial Dr from the opposite direction & taking a right onto Picnic Ln
From 59, exit Shepard (or take Kirby to Shepard) & then turn left onto Memorial Dr & left onto Picnic Ln
From I-10, exit Shepard & turn right onto Memorial Dr & left onto Picnic Ln
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I’m training for the SanDiego Tri Challenge! Can you believe it? This will be my first triathlon since MS came-a-vistin’ to my life. I’m raising funds & awareness for Challenged Athletes Foundation, an organization devoted to making a difference in the lives of folks with illness & disability who need our help to enjoy a more active, independent, wild-&-wonderful life. Like this guy, JJ.
Wanna make a difference? You could pass on my story & donation page: email, Tweet, Facebook post – anything you can think of to spread the word would be an enormous to help to me. And, more importantly, to CAF :0)