Clay Green has become an avid cyclist. It wasn’t always that way. But after beating cancer, Green, president of Green’s Toyota in Lexington, decided some personal changes were necessary.
“I wanted to get myself into shape and started cycling in the summer of 2008,” he said. “I wanted a positive change in my physical health, a complete change in the way I ate and exercised.”
On Aug. 25, Green and perhaps hundreds of others will participate in the inaugural Roll for the Cure, sponsored by the Lexington Cancer Foundation. It’s a way for cyclists of all ages and skill levels to raise money to fight the disease.
Roll for the Cure committee chair Jon Woodall modeled it after a similar event in Columbus, Ohio, called Pelotonia, which after four years is drawing more than 6,000 participants. Lexington plans to birth its own cancer-fighting bike event too.
“I was blown away by the magnitude of it, not only by the amount of participation but by the amount of money raised,” Woodall said. “The first thing that hit me about 50 miles into that thing was, ‘Why don’t we have something like this in Lexington?’” he recalled.
Local cyclists can choose between routes of four, 10, 25, 50 or 100 miles. All routes begin from the Rupp Arena parking lot on High Street. After the ride, the CentrePointe block will be the site for a closing celebration including live entertainment.
All routes traverse through the city, some going out into Bluegrass horse country. The 100-mile route will include a trip to the Kentucky River where riders will roll onto the Valley View Ferry, cross the river and continue to Richmond. The return route eventually joins Lexington’s Legacy Trail as it winds back into downtown.
All riders 12 and older are required to raise $100 to participate in the four or 10 mile distances, and $500 for the other routes. Participants must provide a credit card, which won’t be charged if they meet their fundraising obligation. That’s an incentive. The event was just what the Lexington Cancer Foundation needed.
“We felt this would be wonderful because we didn’t have an athletic fundraiser on our calendar of events,” said Kristi Martin, executive director for the foundation. “When Jon came to us with the concept, we thought it would be different. Lexington is a supportive community for cycling. We think it will be a great fundraiser.”