On Sunday, May 13, 2012, over 300 cyclists and over 100 volunteers came together in the Boston, MA suburbs on a warm and sunny Mother’s Day to carry out the first annual Christina Clarke Genco Foundation Memorial Ride. Through the support of hundreds of individuals and organizations, the Foundation will donate $10,000 to the cross-country cycling nonprofit Bike & Build, in support of a home built along the South Carolina to Santa Cruz (SC2SC) 2012 route in partnership with Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity. The SC2SC route was the Bike & Build route Christina Clarke Genco was leading in 2011 when a tragic accident took her young life. Now, less than a year later, the Foundation formed in her honor has accomplished much with its first major event, working to continue the inspiring service to which Christina had dedicated her life.
Split into four different routes, the day kicked off bright and early at City Hall with the longest route of 68 miles sent off by the Mayor of Newton, MA, Setti Warren. The day was deemed ‘Christina Clarke Genco Day,’ and the spandex-clad riders set off into the rolling hills and gorgeous farmland southwest of the city. Volunteers in snazzy yellow T-shirts helped to organize the registration desk, distribute maps and cue sheets, decorate the sidewalks with chalk, place traffic cones, and man the three refreshment-filled rest stops along the way.
“It really is a perfect way to give tribute to Christina — she was all about family,” said Caroline Genco, Christina’s mother and President of the Foundation. “This ride and the support for the Foundation is much larger than we ever anticipated.” Several organizations connected to the mission of the Foundation–to inspire youth to find their passion and make a difference in their communities–participated in the event: The Boston University School of Hospitality Administration helped to create and promote the ride, Bike Newton was on-hand to help give bike safety pointers, Cycle Loft and International Bikes provided free bike checks and mechanic support along the ride, Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston distributed information about builds in and around Newton and were supported by Greater Lowell Habitat and BU Habitat, City Sports distributed discount coupons, Urban AdvenTours offered discounted rental bicycles for participants, Revolution Lacrosse postponed a team practice in order to provide some epic volunteer support, and Bike & Build and its alumni led a safety pep talk before each route departed.
Riders departing on the 34 and 17 mile routes were sent off by the Boston University Pep Band, blasting big band versions of “Shipping Up to Boston” and “Build Me Up Buttercup” to participants and a number of excited spectators. The family ride, heavily supported and escorted by the Newton police department, set out with a great mix of young and young-at-heart riders to the reggae tunes of Toussaint the Liberator, who performed right in front of the finish line as riders returned from the road to enjoy delicious Black Strap BBQ and sweets from Rosie’s Bakery.
The Foundation wishes to thank all of the amazing people who helped honor Christina’s legacy and make this day an astounding success. This truly wouldn’t have been possible without you.
Check out some great press coverage from the day from BU Today, Newton TV, and Newton Patch!
Ready to sign up for the 2013 Memorial Ride? Visit http://bit.ly/CCG2013 today!
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Dear Caroline, You are an amazing woman, a dedicated mother and like always you have displayed the ultimate love and respect for Christina. The energy and power were so evident during this first tribute and ride for our Christina. You have moved mountains and inevitably will continue this journey fulfilling Christina’s dream. Much love to you!! JoJo