Jeff Krakoff wrote -
THE STORY BEHIND THE RIDE
In Fall 2013, a group of several friends who play soccer together decided to plan a bike ride along the then newly completed 330-mile long trail from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. One of the organizers has rheumatoid arthritis, which affects many joints, while another suffers from osteoarthritis in his knee.
Right before the trip, the group decided to reach out to friends and colleagues to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation because biking is a great low-impact activity for people with arthritis. In fact, keeping moving and reducing weight are two of the best things for people with arthritis; so they wanted to raise awareness and money for this worthy cause.
So, the group rode 65-70 miles a day over five days through the beautiful mountains and valleys of Pennsylvania, western Maryland, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. They also received 112 donations for more than $6,000 in just over two weeks to help the cause. Their story was covered in a number of media stories, and they wanted to make this an annual event. (Link to media section of site with links to past stories)
THIS YEAR'S CHALLENGE
This year, the group will face a different type of challenge: Riding more than 100 miles in a single day from Rockwood, PA, to downtown Pittsburgh. Many of the riders think this is a greater challenge to the body and mind than last year’s five-day trip. We have five riders this year, including Jeff Krakoff and Vic Walczak from Upper St. Clair, Pete Chiste from Peter’s Township, Craig Hoffman from Bethel Park and Scott Bowlin from Mt. Lebanon. Jeff has rheumatoid arthritis and Pete has osteoarthritis. The others are also active athletes who all have some form of joint pain they deal with on a regular basis.
The RIVERRIDE100 name was born from the fact this year’s route follows the Casselman, Youghiogheny and Monongahela rivers to the Point in Pittsburgh, where the Allegheny and Monongahela join to form the Ohio River. The ride will be 104 miles along the scenic Great Allegheny Passage. To put this in perspective, using a 104-mile radius from Pittsburgh, you can drive past Altoona, PA to the east, past Akron and almost into Cleveland to the northeast and well past Morgantown into West Virginia to the south.
Why do we ride for The Arthritis Foundation? The organization funds life-changing research and supports programs that help reduce the impact of arthritis so that one day no one has to life with the pain and disability caused by arthritis. Please support our efforts to raise awareness for the 50 million adults and 300,000 children who have arthritis.
So, we are asking as many people as possible to support the work being done to bring new treatments and to help people to better manage this horrible disease. The fact that riders with arthritis Jeff Krakoff and Pete Chiste can even attempt bike rides like this and last year’s ride is a result of all the generous donations made to fund research and new drugs.
Please consider making a donation no matter how large or small. Every donation helps.
Please click the DONATE TODAY button below, or mail checks made out to "Arthritis Foundation, Western PA" to:
Arthritis Foundation, Western PA
790 Holiday Drive
Foster Plaza #11
Pittsburgh, PA 15220
Credit card donations can also be made over the phone by contacting Beth Brown, Vice President of the Arthritis Foundation at 412.250.3341