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2nd Annual Team Priority Health / The Motion Initiative Trainer Marathon

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

The Swag!!

The Swag!! /Eric Smith

Underwriting support from:


Riders enjoy the spin marathon..

Riders enjoy the spin marathon.. /Mathias Metzger

Quite a crowd showed up this year.

Quite a crowd showed up this year. /Mathias Metzger

It was five degrees outside when I woke up this morning. My first thought was “what a great day for a bicycle ride!” And by the time we were set up and ready to ride, it had warmed to a balmy eleven degrees. We can handle it, though. We’re a tough bunch.

Did I forget to mention we’re indoors? There are 26 bike trainers set up in the main room of the United in Christ Ministries community center. Thirteen kids from the surrounding neighborhood are there, along with twenty-three others. There are adults from The Motion Initiative, a cycling spin-off (no pun intended) of UICM, and members of Team Priority Health, a local cycling group that teamed with TMI to put on the first event last year. The Rapid Wheelmen were represented. There were a smattering of triathletes. Some just heard about the spin and wanted to join in.

Once the kids were each fitted to a bike and everyone was anxious to go, we popped in the movie “Race Across the Sky”, a documentary about a grueling 100-mile mountain bike race in Durango, Colorado. Right from the beginning, some of these kids were trying to make this “easy spin” just as grueling. A couple of the youngest ones rode for almost the whole two hours! I don’t know if you’ve ever heard 26 bike trainers spinning all at once, but the sound is deafening. One of the Priority riders would occasionally sprint, and the sound was like a fighter jet taking off. I’m glad we were all stationary and I didn’t have to worry about holding onto his wheel (keeping up)! For today though, every level of fitness is represented and no one is falling behind.

Soon enough, everyone got into a groove and some of the kids started taking breaks and eating the food generously provided by Team Priority Health. You can’t ride as hard as some of us were without putting back some calories.

Getting some exercise

After the movie ended, we watched another film, “The Collective”, about free-riders who like to hurl themselves off cliffs and do things with bicycles that should never be seriously considered.

We would love to see this event grow each year! I think everyone got something out of this, whether it was simply a good workout, or the feeling that you’re part of something bigger than yourself. And we could all use some of that in early January in the frozen tundra that is Western Michigan.

The kids riding were Xavier, Tanaka, Michael, Jamal, Malik, Eric, Demetrious, Kelsey, Scooter, Alasia, Jasmine, Jalen, Markeith and Amber.

Team Priority Health was represented by Jim Allan, Zoe Reeves, Roxane Kruse, Steve Buccella, Bob Schultz, David Ryskamp and Harry Strayhorn.

Volunteers from The Motion Initiative were Mathias Metzger, Angel Rodriguez, Kevin Walker, Brad Spooner and Eric Smith.

Others were Dave Durkee (Rapid Wheelmen), Amy Genthe and Katherine Cummings (triathletes), and Bill and Karen Stevens.


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