With brakes, chains, cables and clamps all checked and ready to go, the Pratt & Whitney Cycling Club is gearing up to participate in two charitable rides this spring.
First up is the Windsor, Conn., Multiple Sclerosis Ride on June 1. The event, officially called the 2014 Windsor Praxair Bike MS presented by Louis Dreyfus Commodities, has been supported by the Pratt & Whitney team for five years.
"Having multiple sclerosis means that you may suddenly have blurry vision, or that your memory will fail you for no apparent reason, or that you may not always be able to walk, let alone ride a bike. The symptoms of MS are different, and devastating, for everyone – the only certainty is that it will affect yet another person every hour of every day," said team member David Houston. "This is a great ride and a great cause."
Houston continued, "Last year we had 26 riders from Pratt & Whitney, and we raised over $4,600. We have raised more than $15,000 over the last five years."
On June 8, the Connecticut Tour de Cure will take place at the Durham Fairgrounds. This race will feature 7-, 17-, 31-, 64- and 100-mile distances, all to benefit the American Diabetes Association.
"I am riding because the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure is so much more than a cycling event to me. It is my opportunity to change the future and make a positive impact in the lives of those who are affected by diabetes," said Pratt & Whitney-Pure Power Team member Mark Jones.
"I am committed to ride and raise money in this inspirational event not because 26 million people in the United States have diabetes, but because I personally know some of them, and I want to do something about it," Jones continued. "There is still time to join for anyone that wishes to ride."
With approximately 200 employees in the cycling club, members believe the power they have in a group, comprised of both cyclists and donors, far outweighs what one can do alone.
"[The June rides] are of about five or six charity events that the Pratt & Whitney Cycling Club actively participates in, including the UTC United Way Rides," Houston said. "There are probably another dozen or so that individual members ride in that are publicized through the club."
"We try to do both fun and charity," said Jones.
"Our advocacy extends into the local community," explained club member Jim Adams. "We are often involved in various events and initiatives that support cycling in the Hartford area. One of our members, Tony Cherolis, helps host a Bike to Work event with the town of East Hartford and Goodwin College, and we also have several club members attend the Bike to Work event in Hartford each year. Many of our members are also involved with Bike Walk CT."
For information on the MS ride or to join or donate to the Pratt & Whitney team, click here.
To register or donate to the Pratt & Whitney-Pure Power Team for the Tour de Cure, visit the team's page.
For information about Bike Walk CT, click here.