The Great Cycle Challenge - Week 1

The Great Cycle Challenge - Week 1

Bryan Ruby showing off on the Sioux Falls Bicycle Trail - Photo Courtesy of Janice Maldonado

During this month of September, I am taking part in the Great Cycle Challenge to fight kids' cancer!

Why? Because right now, cancer is the biggest killer of children from disease in the United States. Over 15,700 children are diagnosed every year, and sadly, 38 children die of cancer every week. Kids should be living life, not fighting for it.

I was asked to join my office's bike team, the SuperCells, and help in in the effort to raise money through a ride challenge intended to support the Children's Cancer Research Fund. The fund and research dollars allow research to continue their work to develop lifesaving treatments and find a cure for childhood cancer. 

Please support me in my ride by making a donation to give these kids the brighter futures they deserve. I've already given my donation by sponsoring the team and I'm now asking you to help by sponsoring me via my Great Cycle Challenge page:

Your support will change little lives and whether it's $100, $50, or $20, or whatever you determine is the right amount for you. No matter what you give, I, the team, and those working to find a cure to children's cancer will be appreciative of your charitable gift to the research fund. I've already promised to bicycle 160 miles to encourage donations but if I can reach my initial fund raising goal of $500...I promise to ride a lot further to encourage even more donations for this great cause.

I will use the remainder of this post to update you on the rides I complete through this this first week of the challenge. Please visit this page and my blog from time to time to keep updated on the status of my rides.

Ride 1 - Sep 1, 2020 - 19.3 Miles

For my first ride, I drove to Elmen Park in Sioux Falls, SD so I could access the Sioux Fall bike trail. This is a bike trail the circles around a large portion of the city and has numerous branches to get you on and off the trail. My usual starting point is my house on the western side of Sioux Falls and ride about three miles to get to the heart of the main loop but for this first ride my time was limited. Plus admittedly, I'm slightly out of shape and didn't want to be sore from the additional miles (usually around 26 miles).

The ride was uneventful and probably the most pleasant part of the ride was the weather. After many weeks of excessive heat, Sioux Falls is starting to see Summer give way to Autumn as afternoon temperatures were only in the 70s. My only complaint were the south winds that made riding difficult as I headed south on the trail system.

Given that the bike trail system will be my primary method of riding, you can expect to see a lot of pictures taken and a lot of stories told by me focused on the bike system. 

Elmen Park on the Sioux Falls Bike Trail

Ride 2 - Sep 4, 2020 - 25.3 Miles (Total: 44.6 Miles)

For my second ride, I had the time so I decided to ride from my home and loop around the city via the bike trail and them back to home. I've taken this trip many time and depending on the path I take to the main loop the miles will vary from 25 to 27 miles. The winds shifted on me for this afternoon ride where the most difficult parts of the loop I went against the wind instead of with the wind.

What I call the bike trail is actually called the Sioux Falls Greenway Trial System. My city, Sioux Falls, is home to over 80 public parks and the trail system connects many of these parks together. The centrally located Falls Park is the hub of the park system and connected to many of the city's other parks via the Greenway trail corridor which encircles the city. Besides a means of recreation and commuting, the Greenway also serves as a buffer zone for potential flooding along the Big Sioux River and developed parts of the city. Sioux Falls has experienced floods over the years, especially in the Spring  after a large snow melt, and it's a lot less costly for everyone to encourage parks be built in the flood zone than residential homes and businesses.

Bike Trail Bridge going over the Diversion Channel (northern Sioux Falls)