Cycling trip to commemorate U.S. Army veteran
In the span of just three days, six people will embark on journeys of 81.8 miles, 115 miles and 92 miles. In total, the distance makes for a decently long car trip or a quick plane ride. But, in this case, the distance is going to be biked.
Members of the Division of Advancement and External Affairs at Syracuse University and friends are embarking on this trek to honor Cindy Reynolds, U.S. Army veteran and fellow staff member who died in a car accident this past February.
This “Orange to Apple Bike Ride” will start on Thursday from SU and end Saturday at the Joseph I. Lubin House, an SU alumni center in Manhattan.
The cyclists are Adam Stone and Alex James of the AEA department, Mike Roy of the web department, 1980 alumnus Craig Weinstein and his friend, Tim Ford. Kartik Krishnakumar, another member of AEA, will be the support driver, providing the cyclists with liquids and sustenance every 30 miles.
The first day of the ride will take the cyclists to Sidney, N.Y. The second day, a more scenic one as well as the longest day, will take them to Port Jervis, N.Y. for the night. By the third day, the group hopes to reach the Lubin House.
“We just hope we can get there before dark,” Stone said, smiling.
Stone was the one who spearheaded the idea.
“Before she passed away, we had talked about riding down,” Stone said. “We have four cyclists including myself in the office, and she always put up with us talking about it all the time.”
Stone felt that the bike ride would be a way for Reynolds’ friends and colleagues at the university to honor her memory and to raise awareness for the Institute for Veterans and Military Families. IVMF is an SU-affiliated organization that is designed to help veterans reintegrate into civilian life after coming home. Reynolds herself was a veteran of the U.S. Army.
Reynolds, along with Stone, also worked with the Lubin House, home to their New York City operations. The two were committed to strengthening the connection between the Lubin House and Main Campus.
The ride is an awareness event, so donations are being made to the IVMF fund. They are still accepting donations through the IVMF website.
“The money is not going to us riding, we wanted to be clear with that,” Stone said. “Since this is more of a personal experience, we don’t need money for the few of us biking. All the money we raise goes directly to the IVMF.”
That has not stopped the group from talking about a bigger event in the future. Stone stated that he was considering creating a more public fundraising event where students could join for next year.
Stone said this was intentionally set up as a smaller affair so that it could be a way for the office and the people that knew her to give back to her memory. Coworkers have expressed their gratitude for this event and how much it means to them.
“It’s a really neat thing to do,” said Marcello Prattico, a coworker of the group.
“There isn’t just one goal to this. Survive, of course.”
Prattico cycles but cannot go on the race this weekend. Prattico did help with the development of the idea.
The group of cyclists is not without training. Prattico has participated in various races. This past weekend, he and Stone went on a ride of more than 100 miles. Because of the enthusiasm for biking in the office, the group felt that an extensive bike ride was a personal and special tribute to Reynolds.
Said Stone: “We all felt that this was the natural thing for us to do. We’re honoring her, but we’re also allowing the office to remember her.”
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