NEWBERRY — On Friday, 350 cyclists with the Alzheimer’s Association’s 10th annual “A Ride to Remember” came into Newberry during the first stop of their 250-plus-mile journey from Simpsonville to Mt. Pleasant.
The riders came to their first stop at Newberry College before settling in for the night. After a night of rest and relaxation, they were off for the second day of their journey.
Connor Roudabush, a 2017 Newberry College graduate, was one of the 350 cyclists. He was in the group of about five riders, Goose Creek International Triathlon Club, along with his father, Michael Roudabush.
“The Goose Creek International Triathlon Club, its just a group out of the Goose Creek area, just a bunch of older folks, and Connor, we just enjoy the sport. We got into this five years ago, been doing it every year,” Michael Roudabush said.
Connor Roudabush decided to ride this year in memory of his grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease and passed away three years ago. He said it was a rough time, seeing the wear and tear the disease put on the family.
“Riding is only 10 percent of the pain the disease puts on the family, and the person. Nothing comparable to that,” Connor Roudabush said.
Michael Roudabush added that their suffering over the three days is mild in comparison to what the patient and the family endure because of Alzheimer’s Disease.
During the over 250 mile journey, Michael Roudabush said people have been friendly. He said while they rode in neighborhoods people would come out and wave, saying hello. He said one individual pulled his dog in as they were coming in, to ensure the dog wouldn’t chase the riders.
“I think a lot of people are used to us because we ride the same route every year. They give us room on the road, which is important on a bicycle,” he said.
Connor Roudabush enjoyed making his way back to Newberry, which he said was the part of the journey he was most excited for.
“As soon as we got on Belfast Road I knew where we were. It is kind of special, being a year graduate from it now, coming by Theta Chi and TKE and a lot of fun times. Rolling up on campus and seeing the orientation going on, thinking they are going to have a fun four years,” he said. “I saw my cross country coach as soon as I pulled up, and it was cool to talk to him about going from a runner to a triathlon cyclist.”
During their time in Newberry, the cyclists were treated to a dinner at Newberry College, followed by breakfast the next morning.
During the journey, Michael Roudabush estimates that everyone would raise about $750,000 during “A Ride to Remember.”
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.