Cycling communities help those in need this Thanksgiving

Friends rally for Oakley family’s cancer fight, Campagnolo collect toys for kids

Now is the season in the US for giving thanks and giving back to those who’ve given. Here are a couple of good ways...

Most cycling industry insiders know Steve Blick as the sports marketing man behind eyewear juggernaut Oakley – the guy making sure the company's sponsored athletes are always equipped with the latest and greatest anywhere in the world. But Blick's personal life was turned upside down when his five-year-old son, Tyler, was diagnosed with acute B lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL/Pre B) in June.

Blick reports that Tyler's chemotherapy regimen is going well and his long-term prognosis is very good – treatment of ALL/Pre B has apparently made big improvements in the past few years – but the determined little boy still has a long road ahead. "We're hanging in there the best we can," he said.  "The chemo is getting pretty intense and more often, but I know we just need to hang tough, which is the plan."

To help raise funds for Tyler, friends and industry colleagues have organized a 24-hour fun ride called Le Tour de Tryptophan in Southern California, set to kick off at noon this Friday, 26 November.

Participants are asked for either a US$40 (includes a free t-shirt) or $60 (includes a free hooded sweatshirt) donation, and both items are also available for sale until December 15. Interested buyers are asked to contact Steve Boehmke at chunkyflyrite@gmail.com.

Further down the road, Campagnolo North America are holding their third annual toy drive and fun ride on 5 December at their Carlsbad, California office.  The ride is scheduled to depart at 9am but participants are asked to arrive at 7.30am and bring a new, unwrapped toy (appropriate for ages infant to 17) that will be donated to the Rady Children's Hospital SD and SD Health and Human Services Foster Care Program. There will also be a donation box for the Andreas Knickman Cancer Fund

"Last year we had two truckloads of toys that we delivered in time to be given to the kids for Christmas," said Campagnolo NA marketing operations co-ordinator Dan Mayer. "The event was the brainchild of [Campagnolo NA general manager] Tom Kattus and has taken off, with more people involved every year. We hope for a little better weather this year than last but either way we'll all have a good time, and even more important than our comfort is the result for the kids."

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
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