This is my story and it's a story that does not yet have an ending. And when I say story its more of a quick summery with a bunch of pictures as I could write a book alone just about my DCC ( Dolphins Challenge Cancer ) adventures. That said a picture is worth a 1000 words,...so I added a bunch of pictures as to better illustrated said story.
My Uncle Brad lost his battle with cancer in 2007 when he was just 57 and every time I've participated his picture has been either taped on my bike or pinned on my jersey.
It was 2011 when I did my first DCC ( Dolphins Cycling Challenge ) and I was introduced into the world of of cycling. I was proud as a peacock as I received my first Dolphins cycling kit, but I knew nothing of cycling hence opting for a "special" jersey on my first ride.
I will never forget just how nervous I was, not so much about the ride but rather how was I going to raise the minimum $1000 required. Those concerns where soon put to rest as many members from this very site propelled me well above the requirement. In the end that year over $3,200 and I achieved what they called "Heavy Hitter" status. I also rode 100 miles one day & 70 the next after only owning my bike for 6 months. It was tough for sure but willpower and thoughts of my uncle & those who supported me fueled the fire.
After that first ride it was suggested from one of our members here that I should enter a contest that was sponsored by Guinness beer & The HOF. It was called "The Boldest fan in the Game" and I was absolutely floored when I was chosen as one of the 5 winners.
The trip to Indy for Super Bowl weekend was amazing however bringing my own HOF bust back to Florida and managing to get a photo with it and Coach Shula was nothing short of mind-blowing !
All of that was due to the support I received here at The Phinsider.
Year in and year out I would register, raise as much as I could, & ride my heart out. Cancer affects all of us in one way or another,....it does not discriminate. So to that end I just kept participating and all the while I was changing. I was no longer bike rider but I was now becoming a cyclist.
And with that came my introduction into racing,...
Big on the Miami Dolphins it should come as no surprise that I was wearing my very first DCC jersey at one of the few times I crossed the line 1st at a race I did during visit back home in Toledo, Ohio ! Go figure,...
Why am I mentioning bike racing while talking about a charity bike ride ??? You'll just have to keep reading,....
I first met Marc online through some mutual friends before we actually met at a game in Miami. He & I hit it off straight away,.....we both are crazy for the Fins, enjoyed hosting group outings for road games, have a charitable nature, a wacky sense of humor, and totally dig hard rock music. The dude is just filled with positive energy that drew me to him to which we've been close friends ever since. Weird thing ( not really ) about Marc is that lives in the Bay Area
Marc would have to write his own bio as I'm sure I would mess that up somehow. However over time his group outings would grow larger & larger and always hooking some kind of charity fundraiser to the event. He might look crazy,....but I say he's crazy like a fox as he has been instrumental in raise large amounts money for different causes. He is in short,...good people !
Why am I bringing Marc up here when he lives in CA and doesn't own a bike ??? You gotta keep reading,....
Danny is the CEO of The Positive Porpoise (TPP), a private facebook group that thrives on positivity & through that they have supported a number of different charities. The amount of money that has been raised is absolutely astonishing and the group is only 3 years old. But in that time they have moved from an online community to also doing meet-ups on nights before home games from time to time and also hosting events for select road games as well.
Last year Danny said he wanted the TPP to have a team participate in the DCC and he needed a captain. I agreed without hesitation and goals were set. We laugh about it now but in no way did I ever think that we would accomplish what we did. I thought $30K tops,.....nope ! We raised over $50K last year !!!
And then there is Brian. Here is another Naples resident who loves everything in the world about cycling. He knows nothing about football or the Miami Dolphins, but when it comes to making the world a better place through cycling he is your guy. One night over beers we were talking about different cycling adventures we've had and the topic turned to the DCC. 5 minutes later he signed up and became the newest member of the TPP DCC team last year.
Am I taking the long way to around in getting to the point of my story ??? Perhaps, but this my story and its a story worth telling. If you've come this far you either like pictures or you want to see where this thing goes,....maybe both.
But before that we have to go back to another night with Brian talking bikes and having beers sometime before this year's DCC. Now to give you a little more back story about Brian, he is the owner of a race team. He owns a team van and a fleet of race bikes & loaner bikes besides being "good people". Team Waldo is his baby, and there are several very strong riders on this team as well as the Naples Velo cycling club as a whole.
Once he got involved in the Naples cycling community it wasn't long until he found himself on the board of directors to go along with Team Waldo. So,....the beers are going down smoothly and more talk of this year's DCC came up. I had been hinting around at doing something a bit more special,...something a bit more grand. But I needed help to pulling it off and lots of help at that. More beer was used as a lubricant for ideas and just like that we had a loose plan and the TPP had a new teammate for our 2nd DCC as Team Positive Porpoise (TPP)
When I first met Justin I liked him straight away. 20 years my junior, a chunky ( to be nice ) dude that liked to ride his bike as fast as possible. He reminded me of many of my old hockey teammates from back in the day,....tough with no quit with a feisty attitude. I watched as Justin started loosing weight and getting stronger, and then he started racing. Once that happened something changed in him, a fire was lit and he quickly climbed the ranks of the local racing scene in Miami. So much so that he now races as Cat 1 ( domestic pro ) on a team that is based out of Miami and travels the country during race season participating in most of the biggest crit races in America.
Going back to my racing for a moment. Who do you think is always pushing me to ride harder, go faster ??? It doesn't matter if I'm going racing or not,....he pushes me. And the whole time he has become the fastest rider in Naples with only a select few being able to keep up with him once he goes full gas. But I'm lucky,....he lives close by and when he is on a tempo ride I can often be found on his wheel.
Dude is another one of those "good people" that I "positively" choose to surround myself with. He cracks me up with his "kill them all" attitude on the bike. Bottom line is this,...when he shows up on a group ride it's shame on you if you can't keep up. I am not on his level, but we share the same mentality and I'm grateful for his friendship. And with a small bribe I can slow him down every once in a while (rarely),.....
So what's the plan ?
Not before I have to thank my Wifey who has supported me from the very start with all things Dolphins, this included. Eight times before she was the one that drove me to the stadium having me there by 5am and was the first person I sought out after I finished. Without her none of this is possible,...none of it !
I suspect she will be there again this year too,....and i'm one lucky guy !
Before I can drop the plan I have to reflect on why I do what I do, and it is simple. I want to help others, I want to see more of this,....survivors !
And that can only be done with more research and so here it is,....
Grab Brian's Van, fill it with bikes, find a driver, recruit a few more local cyclist, invite some special friends, and....ride our bikes over from Naples to Miami the day before. While trying to raise awareness & donations for the DCC along the way,....