Who do WE ride for?

2013 Christina Clarke Genco Mother's Day Memorial Ride
Thoughts on the Christina Clarke Genco Memorial Ride by Cecelia Quillin, Bike & Build rider on SC2SC11 with Christina.

I’ll never forget that night in Hartwell, GA. A newly formed family of 33 young adults gathered in a large circle on the floor of a muggy school gymnasium. We already had quite the day: crossing our first state line into Georgia, showering (!), consuming unthinkable amounts of food, and learning all too much about cyclists and their “angry eyes.” For now, we put the thoughts of our thermarests aside as we sat in the sticky heat for a team building activity. Our fearless leaders led as we took turns talking about why we chose to do Bike & Build and what our hopes were for the summer. “Traveling”, “adventure”, “fitness”, and “challenge” were commonly heard words that night.

However, for some reason, Christina’s response always stayed with me. She said she just wanted to make sure she rode with everyone. She was excited to get to know the team and was looking forward to a fun summer together.

She really was riding for us. Christina was an extraordinary leader. The epitome of selfless. She was your number-one motivator, the go-to person for short-person cycling tips, and always the first to crack a joke.

It’s hard to believe nearly two years have passed since our Bike & Build journey began in South Carolina. While it’s still very difficult to think about what occurred in Alabama, I am certain Christina would be extremely proud of the foundation formed in her honor and the work that she inspired.

I must say, the 1st Annual Christina Clarke Genco Foundation Mother’s Day Memorial Ride (phew! Try and say that ten times fast) last year was unbelievably fun! Great tunes, a beautiful day, laughter, food, friendly people: cyclists, volunteers, family, friends, strangers-who-became friends… and most importantly, everyone gathering to celebrate Christina’s life.

I know the memorial ride will be just as fun this year. Tomorrow, I encourage everyone to ride, volunteer, donate, or just stop on by and say hello. Let’s all do it for Christina.

More Reasons to Sign Up for the Memorial Ride: New Bike Routes + smartphone app!

new bike routes memorial ride 2013
Reason # 11 to sign up for the 2nd Annual Christina Clarke Genco Mother’s Day Memorial Ride this coming Sunday:  We’ve revamped the bike routes!

Due to emergent safety concerns and construction on the ride routes as they pass through the city of Newton and the town of  Needham, we have  tweaked the routes for this year. With exceptional last-minute support from local government and respective police departments,  we were able to design fun detours that you’ll definitely enjoy.

Also, we’ve got each of the routes (3.4 miles, 17 miles, 34 miles, and 68 miles) on super-handy smart phone apps through MapMyRide.com!  We will be handing out old fashioned paper cue sheets, as always, but some of you might find it easier to download the map right to your smartphone. Just follow these three steps:

  1.  With your smartphone, go to www.mapmyride.com and click the big orange button to install the app.
  2.  Login with your Facebook ID.
  3.  Exit the app and click on the appropriate link below to automatically get your ride map.

    That’s it!  Now you can see where you are in relation to the whole ride!

And on top of all this, guess what? The weather forecast (while a bit rainy originally) is now looking great!

We hope you find the slight change in overall lengths of the individual routes a challenge for a great spring ride — so sign up today!

Top Ten Reasons to Sign Up for the 2013 Memorial Ride

CCGF memorial ride 2012 bikers

We’re thrilled to be less than a week out for the 2nd Annual Christina Clarke Genco Mother’s Day Memorial Ride, taking place next Sunday, May 12, 2013 at Newton City Hall in Newton, MA. Here are the top ten reasons why, if you haven’t registered already, you should register right now:

10.  There are four incredible routes of 68 miles, 34 miles, 17 miles, and 3.4 miles to choose from.

9.   Registration is only $40 and supports safe bicycling and affordable housing in our community.

8.   Last year, over 300 riders and 100 volunteers participated on a stellar spring day.

7.   All of our routes take you through some great scenic bike riding spots in the Boston-area suburbs.

6.   It’s more than just bicycling — food, music, and fun will be taking place all day at the finish line before, during, and after the ride.

5.   We’ve got several special guests attending, including the Mayor of Newton, MA himself!

4.   All ages, all abilities, and all kinds of bikes are invited to participate — no need to don the spandex if that’s not your thing!

3.   It’s a wonderful way to get out, be active, enjoy the weather, and celebrate a gorgeous Mother’s Day.

2.   Last year after the ride, we were able to donate $10,000 to Bike & Build to support Habitat for Humanity.

1.   Finally, celebrate the life of Christina Genco by continuing to give back. It’s what drives us and what we hope drives you, too.

Convinced? Gather up a few friends and family members and sign up today:

Register for the 2013 Memorial Ride

Additionally, you can visit City Sports Chestnut Hill (55 Boylston Street) on Saturday, May 11 from 12pm-4pm to sign up!

A Note About the ‘Hands’ Photo in the Background

jakestangel_stylus_017_6

When searching for a photo for our latest Foundation overview brochure, we decided to call on one of the most talented photographers we know:  Jake Stangel.

Jake also happened to be a fellow Bike & Builder and a good friend of Christina’s, and so his portfolio of active lifestyle photography provided a great spot for us to find the perfect photo. When Caroline (our President) selected a photo of six people with their hands pointed together, it clicked. It represented connection, youth, and fun. Best of all, it wasn’t stock photography—it was a real photo from Jake’s daily life.

Jake graciously provided us with the photo and told us that it was from a rowdy game of NINJA that he had played back in the day with a few friends. When Board member and Bike & Builder Sarah Royal took a look at the photo, she was stunned at the coincidence:  Christina’s hands, covered in red-orange nail polish and squished between Sarah’s and another friend’s hands, were in the photo. Without even knowing it, Caroline and Marty had selected what they thought was a perfect photo to represent Christina—and Christina ended up actually being in the photo itself.

We’re firm believers in, well, believing. While we attempt to navigate social injustices and process terrible tragedies like those that took place at the Boston Marathon, Christina’s presence turns up in the most unexpected places. It inspires us to continue her legacy and provide hope for our communities. We hope it does the same for you.


Thank you to Jake for providing us with the photograph. Check out more of Jake’s amazing photography at www.jakestangel.com.

Alabama Wheelmen Memorial Ride: Saturday, June 1, 2013

alabama wheelmen memorial ride 2013Last year, the Alabama Wheelmen, the original bicycling racing club for the state of Alabama, presented a memorial ride for Christina Genco as a means to pay tribute to her life, raise funds for our Foundation, and raise awareness on the Alabama roads near where her accident took place. This year, leader James Dawson and co. are continuing the tradition and are presenting the Second Annual Christina Genco Memorial Ride on Saturday, June 1, 2013.

“This was truly something special, we all felt blessed to be able to participate if even on a small scale,” said James Dawson, ride organizer, of last year’s ride. The ride, similar to the official Christina Clarke Genco Mother’s Day Memorial ride, offers four different routes of varying lengths, and starts & ends in the same spot. Each route is $25, with all proceeds benefiting the Foundation.

>> Click here for more information and to register!

NEW: Spring Benefit with Wine and Hors d’oeuvres!

UFORGE GalleryWe’re excited to announce the First Annual Christina Clarke Genco Foundation Spring Benefit, a precursor to the Second Annual Mother’s Day Memorial Ride!

On Saturday May 11, 2013 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in Jamaica Plain, MA, we’ll be meeting at the fantastic UFORGE Gallery for an evening of wine, hors d’oeuvres, and great company to celebrate Christina’s life and creativity. Selective pieces of Christina’s artwork will be on display in the gallery.

Bring friends and contribute a $25 tax-deductible donation to enjoy the evening, supporting youth in discovering their passions.

UFORGE Gallery
767 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

www.uforgegallery.com

Volunteer for the Second Annual Memorial Ride!

Caroline Genco, President of the Foundation

Great news: Volunteer opportunities are now OPEN for the 2nd Annual Christina Clarke Genco Foundation Mother’s Day Memorial Ride! It takes a lot of work by wonderful volunteers to make the ride a success, from everything to setting up tents to posting signs and chalking route directions to making peanut butter & jelly sandwiches to feed our hungry riders. There is literally a spot for everyone who wants to help out to make this year’s event an even bigger success than last year!

Visit http://vhub.at/RXS3VI to register you and a few friends today!

Registration is now LIVE for the 2013 Memorial Ride!

2nd Annual Christina Clarke Genco Mother's Day Memorial Ride
REGISTRATION IS NOW LIVE
for the 2nd Annual Christina Clarke Genco Mother’s Day Memorial Ride

To register, visit http://bit.ly/CCG2013

For more ride details, visit our Memorial Ride page… or read the recap from last year’s fantastic success!

 

 
(If you’re interested in volunteering, please visit this link: http://vhub.at/RXS3VI)

Congrats to our 2012 Lacrosse Scholarship Recipients

lacrosse stickWe’ve just announced our 2012 Christina Clarke Genco Foundation Lacrosse Scholarship recipients:

  • Eliza S.: Eliza loves animals, art, and has been involved in a multitude of volunteer activities. She’s thrilled to participate in more to give back to the community.
  • Shannon M.: Swimming, sailing, and playing field hockey & basketball in addition to lacrosse is how Shannon spends her time. Trust and commitment are two key values she’s learned from team sports—values she’ll carry for her whole life.
  • Caroline F.: Caroline’s life is full with family, friends, hard work, and giving back. She’d love to participate in coaching, leveraging the skills she’s learned through team sports.

These young women will receive part of the funding required for their participation in Revolution Lacrosse. Christina was a huge part of Revolution Lacrosse as a coach and staff member for five years and inspired hundreds of young women to seek out their passions. Through this scholarship, Christina’s legacy will be continued.

Stay tuned for more news from our three recipients about the exciting lacrosse season and what they’re up to…

Some of our Bike Safety Fund Accomplishments

ImageAs the Foundation enters its second year, we realize that we have many accomplishments to celebrate. Between our three funds — Affordable Housing, Scholarships, and Safe Biking — we’ve achieved so much in just a short amount of time. This is all thanks to all of the wonderful people who have supported us in our growth — people who we hope will continue to support us in years to come.

With a $10,000 donation to Bike & Build under our belt and the recipient of the Revolution Lacrosse Scholarship to be announced shortly, we thought we’d summarize some of the great accomplishments that we’ve made in our Safe Biking fund:

For starters, of course, the first annual Christina Clarke Genco Mother’s Day Memorial Ride went off absolutely safely and incredibly. In partnership with Bike Newton, we assisted in funding the first and second editions of the Newton Bike Map, including updating the content on the map and helping to draw new bike lanes. We funded a bicycle safety workshop at a Newton Middle School this past spring, and we funded the certification of a League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor. Just this past week, we attended Boston University‘s Bike Safety Day, handing out maps, brochures, and safety triangles to college students. Pretty soon we’ll be performing bicycle counts for Boston Bikes, distributing bike safety materials and maps, and tabling at other advocacy events around town. Partnerships are in place and are brewing with local cycling organizations, and we’ll thrilled that we’ve got a lot on our plate.

Special thanks to Jesse Cohn, our Bike Safety Coordinator, in helping to lead our Bike Safety fund and our efforts to make the road a safe place for everyone.