It’s fall break in Big Bear. That means the U.S. Adaptive Recreation Center’s largest fundraiser of the year is about to begin.
Here I go again.
USARC’s Peak 2 Peak Pedal was created by David Briery as a way to raise money for the nonprofit organization that calls Big Bear home. He and KelLe Malkewitz, who was USARC’s first executive director, have ridden every one of the 24 previous Peak 2 Peak Pedals. They are back for ride No. 25.
So are 28 other cyclists who will brave the wind and the roads to support the cause. It costs each rider a minimum donation of $2,500 to ride the 335-mile trip from Big Bear to Mammoth. Most raise more than that. So far, the 2019 fundraisers have collected more than $100,000 to help lower costs to participate in the organization’s summer and winter sports programs.
For me, this will be my ninth ride and 10th overall journey with the group. When the ride reached No. 15 in 2015, I thought it would be fun to travel along for a story in the Big Bear Grizzly. I’ve missed two rides since then, once when a fellow employee grabbed the same week for vacation before I could request time off.
The other ride was missed because I was four months from having knee replacement surgery. On that ride,
No. 19, I volunteered as a member of the support team.
Yes, I rode in Peak 2 Peak 20, eight months after the surgery. But I skipped the more difficult climbs to protect the knee.
This year I am determined to complete the ride — climbs and all.
You can catch updates on this year’s monumental 25th anniversary ride, posted on the Big Bear Grizzly website each evening Oct. 9-13. And for those who want to donate to the ride, it’s not too late. Visit the website at www.usarc.org for more information on the fundraiser and the organization itself.
And be on the lookout Wednesday morning around 9 a.m. for a group of about 30 cyclists heading to Barstow.