The 2015 “Hills of HOPe” ride
The Saturday of Memorial Day weekend marks the typical beginning of AngelRide; a 140 mile, 2-day bicycle ride across Connecticut to raise money for the Hole In The Wall Gang Hospital Outreach Program (HITWG-HOP).
This year things will be a little different for the 6 riders in Team 101, Team 101 will set out alone to complete a 250 mile bike ride that the team has called “Hills of HOPe”. Team 101 consists of 6 riders, 2 mechanics and one support vehicle. The Team will ride from Double H ranch in Upstate New York through the overnight hours stopping for breakfast at The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, Ct where we will join the rest of the AngelRiders for a Sunday afternoon finish in Mystic, Ct.
Why are we called Team 101, what does 101 mean?
AngelRide weekend in 2014 bore witness to one of the most courageous and inspirational rides by any Angel Rider in the history of the event, Angel Rider #101 Greig Trout. Greig set up 101 things to do when you survive and through selling everything he owned decided to set off around the world to raise awareness that there is life after a serious illness. Throughout his journey Greig had welcomed challenges from those who were following his progress, naturally I challenged Greig to complete AngelRide. Greig had beaten cancer as a child and, as an adult, beat bowel cancer. Not only has Greig beaten cancer twice, he also has a couple of additional factors to take into consideration: one kidney, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) that restricts blood flow back to the heart from the legs….and he hadn’t ridden a bike in 25 years!
Greig completed the 140 mile ride (without walking a single hill) and by doing so proved that anything is possible, you have to want it and you just have to believe in yourself. These beliefs form the very essence of Team 101.
Many people have asked me what makes AngelRide and the Hole in The Wall Gang Hospital Outreach Program (HITWG - HOP) so special, what is it that brings riders back year after year. This is my answer.
The reward for a rider is being able to experience the sense of accomplishment as you pass under the HITWG arch on the entrance to camp or crossing the finish line in Mystic. It’s seeing the faces of the children whose lives have been changed by something you were a part of; it’s knowing that we Team 101 are helping to change the life of the next sick child who comes under the care and support of the HOP team. Children deserve the chance to simply be children, regardless of any illness.
The reward for 250 hard miles on a bicycle is an emotional roller coaster, you cannot imagine! To be honest, the effort to ride 250 miles on a bicycle pales in comparison to the effort each child puts into beating their illness.
I want to leave you with a quote from Muhammad Ali that I think encompasses everything that is Team 101.
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing