Pedal on the Pier is a spin off of last year’s Pedal in the Park, held in New York’s Central Park. It will be the latest in a string of 100-mile “physical philanthropy” events that began in 2006 when Jesse Itzler, the founder of the 100 Mile Man Foundation, first attempted to raise money by running 100 miles in 24 hours. Itzler’s brainchild has since grown in popularity and has raised over $3 million.
Itzler’s good friend and founder of the Harold Robinson Foundation, Jeff Robinson, decided to bring Pedal on the Pier to Santa Monica this year to raise money for his charity, which will send 20 inner-city schools to weekend camp getaways free of charge.
Robinson acknowledges that “there are a million great causes out there and this is not cancer or Muscular Dystrophy or anything like that, but I consider it a crisis. I was lucky enough to grow up in Beverly Hills, and I’ve been lucky in my life to experience a lot of things. These kids grew up in Compton and South Central, and I’ve always realized how lucky I am and I’ve always wanted to give back and bridge the gap if possible. At least give them the chance to experience camp.”
Robinson is a strong believer in the values and lessons that can be learned at summer camp and the results of his efforts have been noticeable around California schools. The state is home to some of the poorest children in the country – 90 percent of these kids haven’t been in a pool before according to Robinson – yet many school officials have reported that bullying and poor behavior have declined significantly in the wake of the visits to Robinson’s camp, Canyon Creek Retreat Center.
“That exposure – those two nights and three days – have been so powerful in these schools that have come up,” Robinson said. “School principals have said that kids that were bullies are changed. They trust each other and work together now in ways they never did.”
So far, $150,000 has been raised and 68 teams of riders have enlisted to participate in the all-day event. A brave select few will ride the 100 miles solo, but the vast majority sign up with friends and family to split the grueling task.
Teams of cast members from TV shows “Baywatch” and “Point Dume” will participate; plenty of other entertainment will be on hand, as well. Rapper Doug E. Fresh is set to perform and participants and event watchers can enjoy live music, food, a “kids’ corner,” massages and yoga lessons available.
Riders will gaze out on the beautiful backdrop of the Pacific Ocean while raising money for a great cause. And if nothing else, it’s great motivation to get in shape.
Here are some tips from some genConnect experts on preparing and participating in a long bike ride:
From Olympian Chris Klug:
1. “I think it’s important not to drive too hard of a gear. Try to pick a nice spinning cadence, probably 90 revolutions per minute. That’s the most efficient way to ride; you won’t pick up a lactic in your legs.”
2. On dieting and replenishing during a race: “I like to have a balance; I think hydration is really important the day of and day before. Not too much fat, but I like to include some protein. I think it gives me some power on the day of the race. I use some kind of a liquid or a balanced protein/carbohydrate drink during some of these long efforts. …If you’re on the bike for six+ hours, you have to get some nutrition in you.”
From Dr. Pamela Peeke:
1. “Make sure you have enough food on board. You always want to make sure you have a balance of protein fat and carbohydrates.” Peanut butter and jelly is a favorite of Dr. Peeke.
2. On how far in advance you should be preparing: If you’re completely sedentary, Dr. Peeke suggests starting about three months in advance. For someone in good shape who isn’t necessarily used to the bike, four to six weeks in advance, about twice a week, should suffice. “It takes the muscles time to adapt, you can’t just pick it up and do it unless you’re in really, really good shape,” she says.
by Kevin Baumer
For more from Chris Klug and Dr. Pamela Peeke on genConnect:
- Chris Klug on Second Chances
- Steer Clear of Weight-Loss Drugs
- Jack LaLanne Continues to Motivate Dr. Pamela Peeke
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