June 23/24, Brian again rode in Ride For Life Alaska from Anchorage to Seward. This time, he was joined by his sisters and nephew in memory of Frances Ross, Brian's Mom, who passed away 10 years ago from cancer.
TEAM ROSS IN ALASKA: Left to rigt, Jody Brown, Shawn Thomas, Lisa Ross and Brian in the Magic 98.9 Studios
Frances Ross, wife, mother of nine. The Photos are from the 50th wedding anniversary in Nebraska 1999.
Mom passed away in 2001, and Dad is a prostate cancer survivor, living in California now.
Lisa and Jody FedEx'ed their bikes up before the ride. VERY LIGHT and speedy things, with tires as thick as liquorice. ZZZOOOOOMMM!
At the start of Ride For Life Alaska doing the final equipment check before riding 120 miles in two days. RFLA raises money for colorectal cancer screenings locally, plus some state and national cancer programs.
Thank you to Clear Channel's own Chrys Castle for making these dedication placcards to memory of our Mom/Grandma Frances Ross. She passed away from lung and bone cancer in November, 2001.
Lisa proudly wears her dedication, with photo's of her with Mom and Dad.
Though our speeds varied, we were often close were able to stop for photos together. Brian with Lisa & Jody along the surprisingly not-windy Turnagain Arm.
Day 1 was warm, sunny and beautiful. In fact, it got into the 80's and made for challenging uphills.
Providence, the Palmer Lion's Club, and many others had break stops along the way to rest, refuel, and to check equipment.
Here comes Brian, rolling in after conquering 7-MILE HILL (Turnagain Pass).
7-Mile Hill is more like 6 miles up and 1 mile down into the rest stop. It is the first major hill leading to Summit Lake.
So far, bikes and bikers are doing well. Shawn was the only one of us to take the additional hills of the Bird-to-Gird trail. The rest of Team Ross stayed on the shoulder of the road.
My baby sister has been seriously TRAINING. Lots of biking in Cali with Jody, plus doing P90X.
DAY 1 FINISH AT SUMMIT LAKE LODGE!
Team Ross, tired and sweaty (and slightly dehydrated from the heat) all made it in safely.
Shawn has finished THE LONGEST single day ride of his life! And he did it very well. Sore, with an injured hand (numb), but he is tough.
After a shower, before dinner, we got ice cream and wandered around Summit Lake. I love this year's Ride For Life T-shirt design, always done by a local artist.
I got some iiiiice cream...I got some iiiice cream!
At the cabin with my trusty steed. That'll do, bike. That'll do.
Mom's placcard is doing well after about 70 miles of the Seward Highway--on a lovely sunny day. We rode this path together when Mom & Dad came up to visit me, Summer 2000. Mom was diagnosed with cancer not long after.
Cherish every moment with your loved ones.
Cabin! Much better than overnighting in a tent like I have done in years past on Ride For Life. I have riden it now 6 of the 9 years it has been held.
My only injury: Sunburned forearms. It wasn't too bad--some sunblock halted the damage.
I also got a wicked tanline on my neck from the helmet strap--no photos of that, though.
Day 2 from Summit Lake to Seward. We got cold and soaked! Shawn was innovative. He took off his sox, then wrapped his feet in paper towels and zip-lock bags under his shoes. It worked well (adding to my own bag of tricks).
WE MADE IT!! The finish line is just a few miles off from here--but repairs are being done to Lisa's bike, so we pose.
This was me when my fundraising broke $1000 before the ride.
Team Ross ended up 4th in fundraising, bringing in $2685 to the over $45,000 raised to fight cancer.
Lisa's flat at the Seward sign was followed by the only other flat on the team, MINE. And it happened 3 BLOCKS from the finish, so I rode in on the rim. Here is the result.
A lock of Mom's hair was carried with me, as always, on Ride For Life Alaska.
We did this in honor of her, and to help spare families the tragedy and grief of cancer. I think she would be proud of us.
We made the most of Lisa's flat tire right at the Seward City Limits, taking my favorite Team Ross photo with the lock of my Mom's hair.
We all made it the whole 120 miles on pedal power. I love my family very much and am so proud of them. Thanks for coming to Alaska! ~Brian