8th annual Miles For Mentoring bike ride is Saturday | SierraSun.com

8th annual Miles For Mentoring bike ride is Saturday

Hardy Bullock
Special to the Sun

The idea started seven years ago when we would ride our bikes from the Pacific Ocean to Truckee in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nevada County.

Girls and boys alike benefit from the support and guidance of an adult mentor, and that is what BBBS does; it pairs children with a positive role model who teaches their littles to be part of the community, to be part of a solution, to love others, and, most importantly, to be loved themselves.

I knew that this was a project I wanted to be part of, so we hatched a plan to raise money. I signed up for a two day stage race and solicited donations from my friends.

We raised $3,000 that year. Now, just seven years later, we have raised more than $100,000 for BBBS. Those same friends and donors became part of the ride, part of the experience, and part of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The following year, in 2009, we took our first big ride from Fort Bragg to Truckee. The ride lasted about 300 miles and so our name was born: 300 Miles for Mentoring.

Seven years later, we are still riding all over Northern California. Twenty-five people cared enough to simply say, "I'm in!"

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We had long stretches of flats across the valley, hot climbs in the foothills, freezing cold nights on desolate stretches of roads, crashes, injuries, car wrecks, drunk drivers, dogs, guns, cops, weed, wrong turns, bad directions and lots and lots of my wife Kimmie's famous burritos.

Weird things can happen in the middle of the night. One night in the boondocks an old fella walked out of his house and called into the night, "What the heck are you all doing!" We replied, "We are riding bikes."

Following a long silence his reply echoed thru the moonlit trees, "Bikes are for kids … during the daytime. Now hit the road!" My reply is, yes, these bikes are actually for kids.

What we got is an opportunity to be part of a whole bunch of lives, with kids and people who are challenging the setbacks.

In the same moment, we each received an opportunity to look closely at ourselves, at our fears, at our own shortcomings, and at our own challenges.

We got so much more than we can express. Sometimes articulating those feelings is difficult unless you have shared the experience.

Today, the ride is an ultra-distance annual event shared by people from all over California. Big Brothers Big Sisters continues to help children right here in Truckee every single day.

This year's ride, scheduled for this Saturday, will take riders from Truckee through the dirt trails of the foothills down to Nevada City. Special thanks go out to all the people that make this organization work.

For information, contact Peggy Martin, Community Development Director at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nevada County, at peggy@bigsofnc.org or 530-587-7717.

More online

Visit razoo.com/us/story/Miles-For-Mentoring-2016 to donate to this year’s ride.