Last Thursday was the Mike Nosco/ Ride for Ronette and we were very proud to have been a part of it.
As mentioned previously, the ride is a memorial event for Mike Nosco- who was killed driving home from his brother Jack's house on Novermber 3rd, 2004- and the funds raised go to a worthy cause selected each year. This year's event raised funds for Zap Espinoza, our good friend at Road Bike Action magazine. Zap's wife Ronette passed away after a vigorous fight with cancer. Zap and his daughter Xakota are the beneficiaries of the event this year and many folks- approximately 600- came together to remember Mike and Ronette and give Zap and Xakota support.
In all the years that I have personally been in the cycling world and all the events I have done over those years, this one climbs into the top echelon. It was an amazing ride, with very challenging terrain and an overwhelming sense of community and support. Seeing the outpouring of sincere support for Zap and Xakota is something that will stick with me for years. There wasn't a dry eye around at the end of the day when all of the thanks were being given after the post-ride meal and ceremonies. It was sincerely an amazing afternoon on many, many levels.
The roads around Newbury Park, Santa Monica, Malibu provided some fantastic riding with incredible cllimbs and spectacular views on a gorgeous SoCal day. Among my personal highlights was having "Hurricane" Bob Hannah ride up behind me and give me a push on one of the long climbs and then "hang out" while riding and talk about being a bicycle geeks for a few miles. The fact that Bob remembered my name was even more stellar! The second major highlight was getting to ride for several miles with John Tomac- who was riding our BH Ultralight. JT and I hit the front on one of the long descents and pulled our group to the bottom with amazing speed! When we hit the bottom, one of our pack companions said he'd never gone downhill so fast and that we had to have gained several minutes on the way down. Me and JT... taking turns flogging the pace on the downhill... that's gonna stick with me. We've spoken a few times in the past, but the last time was a few years ago and he remembered the conversation and we picked right back up- talking about his restoration project of his old 7-11 team bike. All in all, a fantastic time on a bike.
The main highglight, of course, was getting to show support to Zap and his daughter- it felt great to be a part of something "bigger" than just working in the cycling world. Lastly, the other "major" milestone of the day was being one of the remaining stragglers at the event, as the day wound down. At 6:10PM we had a moment of silence with Jack Nosco- Mike's brother and driving force behind the event- to recognize the moment Mike passed away in 2004. Though it was obviously a very somber moment, it was also a moment of celebration of life, community, friends and the wonderful things people can do for each other when they bond around a cause.
Thanks to all who attended the event or donated online to Zap and Xakota. We hope to be a part of the next memorial event November 3, 2012 and beyond.
Here's a fantastic video from the event- well worth watching.