My reflections on the Kelly Brush Ride | In Kelly’s Words
Preparation for the Kelly Brush Ride is equal parts fun, stress, excitement, and work. But when it’s all said and done, the Kelly Brush Ride is the single most impactful day for our mission. When I look back to 2006 and our first Kelly Brush Ride, I was just a young college student surrounded by a few dozen of my friends and teammates rallying around me after my spinal cord injury. Today, we’re nearly a 1,000 person event raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to make people’s lives better around the country. It’s incredible!
As we count down the days, I wanted to take a moment to share some of the things that I’m most excited about for the Kelly Brush Ride:
- The people – Always the BEST part! Whether they’ve ridden in every Kelly Brush Ride (there are a handful!) or are new to the event, it is just so meaningful to me to see everyone out to support our mission, my family, and/or me. Check out who’s leading the fundraising!
- The new things – The Kelly Brush Ride is an institution, we try to keep the same feel and vibe every year. It’s what keeps people coming back. But it’s GROWING! And we’re trying to make it better every year. This year we’ve added GOLF, we’re serving BEER, we added a 10 mile route, we staggered start times, and we added more attractions for kids. All of it to make the event better for everyone that comes and more impactful for our mission.
- The work – It takes an army of volunteers in the weeks leading up (thank you Summit Property Management!) and the day-of (thank you all volunteers!) to pull it off. And our staff. You all could not imagine both how good Jenn, Stephanie, and Whitney (and Zeke I guess too…) are and how hard they work. They make it look so easy! It’s genuinely incredible.
- The members of the #KBFamily – This year a friend and grant recipient, Greg Durso, is captaining an “open” Kelly Brush Ride team called Team Durso. We encouraged anyone to join. The team includes cyclists, Board Members, grant recipients (both riding in Middlebury and “virtually” around the country) and other handcyclists who are achieving awesome things. It’s incredible to see Greg and everyone involved paying it forward, it’s what the Kelly Brush Ride is all about!
- The mission – The event takes on a life of its own, which is great! But I always try to remind people why we’re doing it: to help people with injuries like mine around the country be active. It takes so much money to be active and participate in adaptive sports. This event makes that possible for so many people. And of course we haven’t forgotten the ski racing community that really built this event, and we continue to work to improve safety in the sport I was injured in.
I look forward to celebrating YOUR reasons for participating in the Kelly Brush Ride. Please come say hello to me at the ride, it’s a crazy day but I always love meeting new and returning riders. Thank you and see you Saturday!
– Kelly Brush
ps. If you haven’t registered, remember the fee goes up to $75 (plus $100 fundraising minimum) when online registration closes at 11:59pm on Thursday! Click the button to register and see event details!