Cycling for a Cause

Posted on January 14th, 2014 in Blog.

Our New Year, New You week continues with Tom Roepke’s story. We were inspired by Tom’s commitment to raising awareness for various causes, while committing to improving his own health. Do you want to share your story? E-mail and let us know what your 2014 goals are.

Tom Roepke: “I found cycling as a way to leverage awareness for others”

I started riding in the fall of 2011.

I completed a 1,000-mile ride from Joplin to Tuscaloosa to Atlanta to raise awareness for the tornado victims in those locations. In the summer of 2012 I rode 525 miles in six days to bring awareness for the plight of human trafficking and the 27 million enslaved. This year, I rode 102 miles in an afternoon with a couple of hundred others to raise awareness for breast cancer. I rode in honor of four women I know who are fighting the disease right now and in the memory of family members who have lost the battle.

I’m not the athletic type, but have found cycling as a way to leverage awareness for others. I’ve also found that it helps me connect with students to wake them up to a healthy sense of adventure. When I take a student on a mountain bike trail, or a rails to trails, it gives them a sense of accomplishment. It helps them learn to lean into the difficult and conquer their goals.

My favorite feature of MapMyRide is the simplicity of logging a ride. I also love being able to show students what they’ve accomplished when we ride together on trails. This year my goal is to gain more consistency with my riding. I’ve only been cycling for a few years, so I am looking to up my mileage this year.

My advice to others? Get out of your comfort zone and take the risk.