In an amazing show of support well over 200 cyclists showed up at the Hincapie Sportswear office for the ride to support Mark Knights. For those who do not know, Knights is a mechanic at Carolina Triathlon and was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He has had to undergo surgery and is now facing chemotherapy. The ride was a way for the Greenville cycling community to give back to Mark and help him in his time of need. George Hincapie kicked the ride off with a quick speech talking about Mark and how lucky we are to be able to ride and live in Greenville. George reminded everyone that this wasn’t a race and, “for everyone to have fun.”
Also in attendance was HTC-Columbia’s Craig Lewis, and George’s BMC teammate Chris Butler. Butler had just returned from Europe a couple of weeks ago and Lewis’ season is also over and has been enjoying being back home.
There were two rides offered: a 60 and 30 mile loop through the rolling Greenville countryside. All that was asked was a $20 donation. The temperature was cool but sunny when the group rolled out from the Hincapie’s office onto Old Buncombe. The 60 mile ride started off at a steady tempo but the speed picked up a few clicks when the group tackled Dividing Waters Road and Camp Old Indian. For those who had been off the bike and enjoying the off-season it was a rude awakening.
Awaiting the riders at the Hincapie headquarters when they returned was bbq hamburgers courtesy of Carolina Triathlon and beer from the good folks at Thomas Brewery. In order to ensure that the burgers and beer met certain quality control standards this hardworking journalist tried several burgers and beers and I’m happy to report they were fantastic.
Additional fund raising money was raised with a silent auction. Going under the gavel were autographed Hincapie, Lewis and Mark Cavendish jerseys, cycling components and some local art work.
A great ride for a great cause – it would be very hard to beat a day like today. You can still make a donation at go-green events.
Just added – Several autographed jerseys are on auction at eBay.