Monday, October 8, 2012

Life Long Memories on The Fat Harold's Carolina Crusin' Handcycle Ride


Many thanks to our Volunteers and Congratulations to all the Riders!!!
(left to right: front: Jeff Bradfford, David Hix, Steve Lister, Donnie Langford, Donna Barnett, Richard Travis. back: Sarah Bird, Emily Poole, Bailey Bradfford, Chad Langford, Janet Langford, Jennifer Langford, Rick Travis, Jim Goodwin.)
Yes, we all made it safe and sound from Norwood, NC all the way to North Myrtle Beach, SC! We had a awesome time, and the only flat tire that occurred was pulling into the parking lot on the end of day 1! We made some great connections on this years ride! We were able to let many people all across The Carolinas not only know that our organization exists, but also what all The TarWheels have to offer to the disabled community! Often times word of mouth is a big part of bringing in players to join up with the TarWheels who were unaware of wheelchair sports! The Fat Harold's Carolina Crusin' Event let us spread the word, raise money, offer an adaptive sporting opportunity, and make a life long memory along the way!

During the route, one of our riders was able to keep track of the ridden route with his smart phone. You can check those mapped segments here: Day 1: Before Lunch, After Lunch. Day 2: Before Lunch (minus approx 10mi.), After Lunch. Day 3: Before Lunch, After Lunch.

The event was kicked off Wednesday September 26th at Quaker Steak & Lube's Bike Night where we had a chance to show off some of our basketball skills there in the parking lot! We also were able to raise some more money at this event, and let some Concord, NC folks have an opportunity to learn more about The TarWheels! 

Thursday morning we set out into the fog from Norwood, NC with a police escort! A little while later we found ourselves all the way down to Wadesboro and hungry for lunch! On the road again, we finished our hilly day 1 in the small town (complete with missing road signs) of Cheraw! 

Day 2 seemed a welcoming start, flat land and gentle hills were a relief for our tight muscles earned the previous day. There was one decent hill before we reached lunch, but knowing that lunch would be at the top of the hill, we made it to the top and into the town of Society Hill! The police escort we had had that morning told us of a church which would work great for lunch, and sure enough it did! Pastor Eric of The Welsh Neck Baptist Church came out and welcomed us into their picnic shelter and gave some interesting history on their church and town! As we left out from lunch we'd hoped that the day would continue as it had started, but no such luck, we found the hills again, and they proved to be quite a challenge! All through Darlington County we peddled clicking off mile after mile, 25 miles after lunch put us at a familiar site for the TarWheels players, the good ol' Motel 6! We attempted to be social and hang out, but when several of us were asking what time it was and were surprised to hear it wasn't even 8 o'clock pm, it was a sure sign that it would be an early night in preparation for day 3.

The final day, our longest day, was challenging just in the distance we had to cover, 57 miles! Lunch was short as most of us ate still sitting on our handcycles. Attempting to make it to Fat Harold's close to 4pm. we'd need to make a decent pace! The one last hill was coming over the long and high bridge into North Myrtle and was probably the most testing hill of all, but we kept the group together and spotted the water tower in the near distance which we knew was close to our final destination! We finished strong, six handcycles and four bicycles pulled into Fat Harold's with a support group cheering us on and barbecue waiting!

Our volunteers were so helpful in making the ride go without a hitch! They were ready to go with the handcylcists' wheelchairs, food, drinks, and keeping everyone safe on the road! You name it, they were on it! The description of the event wouldn't be complete without mentioning the Dents! Sandi and Jack not only set us up with Thomas Realty and a Condo to stay at in North Myrtle Beach, they also snuck the tab of the entire group after we'd invited them to lunch at The Shack on our way back out of town. We met the Dents when we'd been down promoting the event a couple weeks prior (at the same restaurant) and what a blessing that was! Thank you Sandi and Jack for all your help and support! Thank you also to all of those who supported the event through pledges and donations! Penske Trucks set us up with a moving truck for the entire ride! - A huge help in keeping funds raised from going right back into expenses accrued! Bilo and Food Lion helped out, our thirst was quinched and stomach's fed thanks to you! 

We are already looking forwards to next years events! We've had several other cyclists and handcylcists already showing interest in joining into the sequel of this years ride! If you would like to join in on the 2013 ride as a rider, volunteer, sponsor, having us stop at your location along the way, contact us any time! We can't wait to build on the event and thank you all for your support!

Ps. Didn't get that donation in before the ride? Donate still today and show your support to all the riders and The TarWheels!

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