The Midwest Cycle Club is a non-profit free to the public cycling community created by myself (Cliff Channell) and my good friend Tim Yardley. The website is open to any cyclist, club, team, or cycling advocacy group in Illinois. If you would like to join our club just make a donation to MDA in memory of Ray Spooner. https://www.rideforray.com/donate
That's it, then you're in! Just log into the site and introduce yourself and find a ride!
I had just moved to Champaign from Sacramento. I didn't know anyone here except for my wife. I really enjoy cycling and had been out on one ride since moving to Champaign, but I had not met or seen anyone else out cycling. On August 14th, 2015, I was heading out for another ride. I saw a cyclist heading west on Church Street. I decided to try to catch up to him to ask if he knew of any good routes to ride. Luckily, the red light stopped him, and I was able to catch up. Ray referred to our chance meeting as "fate". I agree. Everything happens for a reason. I needed to meet Ray, and God made that happen.
I introduced myself and asked if I could tag along. That's how I met Ray Spooner. We rode together that day for about 3 hours. Ray told me a little about himself and that he had ALS. He also told me about his dream to ride across the U.S. I told him that I wanted to help share his inspiring story. When I got home, I started working on Ray's website. (www.Rayslittleride.com.)
On that first day, I was riding with Ray, I had no idea how big of an impact he would have on my life. I was really down and depressed about moving to the Midwest and losing all my cycling friends and leaving behind the sunny California weather. I was complaining to Ray about how I hated the cold winters and all the windy days out here. That's when he said something to me that I will never forget. He said, "There's always an excuse not to ride; it's too hot, it's too cold, it's too windy. Just Ride!"
Here was a man with a terminal disease who was out on his bike riding 100 miles, training to ride more than 2,500 miles across the entire United States, and I was complaining about the wind! Ray was most definitely right. Life is too short, don't make excuses, Just Ride!
If there is something that you have always wanted to do or try, don't wait. Just get up, get outside, and do it!
If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord.
So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.