Ride Like Neil
Organized by: Molly Sender
Molly Sender via Crowdrise
October 14, 2014
EVENT DATE Oct 11, 2014
One Sunday this past April I was riding the Monon Trail in Indianapolis with a friend, and he asked me if I was going to try to ride the Hilly Hundred in the Fall. The Hilly Hundred is a two-day, 100 mile bike ride through Bloomington, Indiana. I am relatively new to biking, and laughed off his suggestion, telling him I didn't think I could do it. A few days later, we found out the tragic news- my friend and former colleague, Neil Kelty, had been in a tragic biking accident on his way to work.
I met Neil in 2012 while working at an ed tech start up in Indy. Though we were the same age, Neil was an inspiration to me. He didn't seem like my peer, but more of a mentor- the type of person I wanted to be when I grew up. He very patiently tolerated my incessant questions, and thanks to work, happy hours, and a trip to Bloomington to visit his alma mater, Neil and I became both colleagues and friends.
Neil was impressive and kind. He didn't simply try new things- he threw himself into learning and understanding new things and then tried to improve. That was exactly how he was with biking. Neil was new to biking at the beginning of this year, and instead of simply picking out a bike and riding, he did his research, engaged with the Indy biking community, and blogged his journey so others could learn from him. Above all else, Neil helped and taught others.
I know that my life is better for having known Neil. These past few months, I have thought of Neil often, but most often when I rode my bike. I can't ride without seeing Neil's big smile, hearing his easy laugh, and reflecting on the lessons he taught me. I feel that riding the Hilly Hundred in Bloomington, where Neil attended Indiana University, I will feel his presence even more deeply, and I hope to honor his memory.
To ride for Neil, and to ride like Neil.
All proceeds from this ride will go to the Neil Kelty Foundation, started by Neil's parents and fiance', whose core theme is striving for healthy communities through: walkable and bike friendly cities, accessible educational resources, start up businesses that promote economic growth and healthy family lifestyles.