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Pedal the Cause-Fresh Air, Blue Skies, Yellow Aspen and Curing Cancer
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Monday, September 27, 2021
 

STORY BY KAREN BOSSICK

PHOTOS BY MARCELLO MOURIER AND KAREN BOSSICK

Ben Frank has ridden the Harriman Trail many times. But Sunday’s ride was different.

Each pedal stroke he took was bringing the world one stroke closure to curing cancer.

Frank and 10 others rode 19 miles up the Harriman Trail from SNRA headquarters to Galena Lodge as part of Pedal the Cause, a St. Louis-based event to raise money for cancer research at Siteman Cancer Center. And then they rode back again.

Frank organized the ride on the spur of the moment last week in honor of Victoria Drier, a cousin who died three years ago of brain cancer at age 28. And he was elated to have participants bring in a thousand dollars above his goal of $5,000, with cyclists they met at the Galena Lodge turnaround pitching in another hundred dollars.

The riders took their place alongside 4,000 others at Pedal the Cause events in St. Louis, La Jolla, Calif.; Telluride, Scottsdale, Dallas and New Orleans.

“Out here we’re a satellite—one of seven events. And we’re making an impact,” said Frank, who lives in Hailey. “I’m excited about a fantastic start and looking forward to an even bigger group next year. The only organized bike event we have in Sun Valley right now is Rebecca’s Private Idaho so why not this one, too?”

Carolyn Henges, Drier’s grandmother, saw the riders off at the start. A St. Louis native, Drier had spent ski vacations and summers at her grandparents’ home in Sun Valley, hiking the trails and searching for treasures at the Gold Mine.

Diagnosed with brain cancer at 16, she went on to study at the University of Missouri-Columbia and was teaching toddlers at St. Louis’ Moog Center for Deaf Education, teaching deaf children to learn to talk after receiving cochlear implants.

She rode in Pedal the Cause when it started 12 years ago and, when she could no longer ride, she made sure she was at the start and finish lines cheering others on.

“She was a tough cookie,” Frank said. “She had a love for life and, even though she struggled with cancer for years, she always got right back in the saddle after her treatments. A group like this—it’s like a celebration of life for them as they remember their own friends and families who have struggled with progressive terminal illnesses. Doing the ride helps nourish the soul.”

Riders couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. Temperatures were in the upper 60s headed for the low 70s under clear blue skies. Aspen leaves sporting shades of yellow, orange and red beckoned the riders to stop for pictures along the way.

Two of the riders—Jesse and Heather Foster—had taken part in the Baldy Hill Climb with 200 other adults and youngsters the day before.

“That one hour of climbing was one of the hardest things I’ve done because of the grade,” said Jesse Foster. “The slightest different in heart rate can change your heart rate just a little bit. So, you’re constantly having to find balance. But I feel better today and we live in a beautiful place to take advantage of that and this today.”

“And it’s great to support the cause,” added Heather Foster. “Cancer touches everyone.”

The group kept a comfortable but steady pace as they cruised past the Boulder Mountains, up and down the steep Hawk Hill, past a picturesque rockscape, finally arriving at Galena Lodge where Marie Gallo and Henges had a spread of Benjamin Frank’s homemade carrot cake, fruit kabobs, Paul Newman’s lemonade and chocolate chip cookies waiting.

“No wind, no smoke, blue sky, all the colors—this might be my new favorite trail,” said Heather Foster, who had never biked the gravel trail before.

“Awesome views. Fall colors, Fabulous,” said Wes Fleuchaus.

“Vic would be so excited,” said Grandma Henges. “She’d be ringing this cowbell like mad. I know she’s here today and in St. Louis and in the other communities that are having a Pedal the Cause.”

IT’S NOT TOO LATE…

  • Donations for Pedal for the Cause can be made through Team Victoria Sun Valley ride through Oct. 31, 2021 at https://www.mypedalthecause.org/donation.jsp?MemberID=193975
  • And mark your calendar—Sun Valley’s second annual Pedal for the Cause will be held the fourth Sunday of September on Sept. 25, 2022.
  • EDITOR'S NOTE: By Tuesday donations had increased to $6,855.

 

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