Last weekend, I embarked on a 170 mile bike ride adventure from Cincinnati to Bowling Green along with 120 other students from BGSU. We were all biking as a part of a philanthropy BGSU puts on each year. Dance Marathon is the largest student-run philanthropy in the entire state of Ohio. DM is a 32 hour event where dancers are on their feet for the entire 32 hours, and bikers are riding bicycles from Cincinnati to Bowling Green over a three-day period!!! The money raised it to help support St. Vincent Mercy Children’s Hospital in Toledo, Ohio. All of the money raised by BGSU’s Dance Marathon goes directly to the hospital and helps aid them in sending children to therapy camps, purchasing general medical supplies and equipment, hospital, and purchasing toys for the toy room, among many other wonderful things. This is was the 15th year BGSU has been raising money and putting on the Dance Marathon event. This year we raised over $152,000!
The bike ride was truly and incredible adventure, challenge, and accomplishment. The first day, we were challenged by the hills of southern Ohio and the brutal head winds for miles and miles. The first day we put 65 miles under our helmet (hahaha). This was a three-day journey, so we slept on High School gym floors (not the most comfortable sleeping arrangement) and showered in locker rooms. Although sleeping on the hard wood floors wasn’t very comfortable, I am pretty sure that everyone slept like babies. The trip was divided into 10-18 mile “legs” so we were able to rest about every hour and a half to two hours. We woke up at 5:30am and hit the pavement by 6:30 or 7:00 and would ride until about 5:00pm. The second day was beautiful! We all felt like we could have biked all day. We biked another 60 miles that day. The third and final day everyone was ready to get back to BG and celebrate what we had accomplished with our families, friends, and the miracle children we were doing this for. We knew we were close when we saw the BG wind turbines in the distance. We arrived in Portage, 3 miles outside BG, to meet our families and friends for lunch who were there to cheer us on. After lunch we hopped back on our bikes and biked the last 3 miles together to rec center where the Dance Marathon event was taking place. We got up to the entrance of the rec and you could hear hundreds of people cheering! It was so exciting! We all ran in and there were people there to give us high-fives and “good games” all cheering and screaming! All of us bikers went up on the stage and it started to get really emotional for all of us. We had just biked 170 miles in less than 3 days all so that the children at St. V’s could have the things they need to get healthy so that they can have a chance to play and be kids. After the emotions ran their course, we lightened the mood by performing a 3 minute line dance we made up the night before. So fun!
This is an experience that I will not forget. I met a lot of people along the way and we encouraged each other and kept in the front of our minds why we were riding. One of my best BG memories, by far. FOR THE KIDS!