A Website to Raise Awareness to SUDC
Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood

Claire's Ride for a Reason Blog
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
 
Some thoughts from Gene on the final leg of Claire's Ride for a Reason.

Wow what a day rolling out of Stroudsburg, PA this morning and heading fastfor the gap cannot wait to get home. Donnie rode the last miles togethertoday and all we kept saying is it’s almost over and we couldn’t believe we did it. It was a great day as usual, unseasonably cool which was great for bicycling. As we traversed the NJ and crossed over into all different parts we got very emotional and were screaming all the way. Getting back to pedaling we had lady bugs guiding us home. Things were happening along the way and just then and I wont go into too much detail but all I can say is I was un-consolably emotionally about the experience and I could not stop the tears because this was the end of our journey which ironically I did not want it to end, something about the finality of it all. It just hit us real hard. The entire effort and exactly what we did this for and there was a time when we were wondering if it was worth it. We never should have second guess ourselves. We see based on all of the support we have received and gracious comments that we are making a difference and now I’m happy that I was able to be there for you Donnie!!

We are going to ride as far as we can this morning. We did not speak for a short time we just wanted to get home, get to Hackensack University Medical Center for a few pictures and then down to meet our families and fellow riders in Foschini Park for a few pics. Finally, we could finish our journey with a short ride to Ringwood.
Wow! We are here and Tracey and kids never looked so great. I missed them terribly, so much so you could not imagine. Maybe you could imagine, 17 days away from them…..never again!! My next ride will be a little shorter and if it’s cross country then they are all coming with me!

It was great to see everyone there. Laurah Crandall…We did it! Great to see you there. I remember the first I left you a message and told you what I wanted to do. Well it’s done! I’m locked in for this ride annually for sure.
We started our trek home and it was allot of fun. Our roadie, Jason, now relinquishing his support vehicle and mounting bicycle for the final leg. Also, John Burke, I cannot say enough…you got us home from Hackensack without a hitch. Just talkling and riding switching positions and and joking all the way. Way to go Johnny Cakes!!
To the foot of Skyline Drive…Who’s Idea was that??!! Oh yeah, Donnie and I came up with that one. We strapped in, buckled up and started our climb which turned out to be blast. Nothing like the past times I’ve climbed it. I guess we were finally in shape!!! To the top we go and what made it even easier were the signs on Skyline Drive, we loved them. At the top to be met by a police escort for the final descent down Skyline Drive. Donnie and I put the hammer down and flew as if our wheels/tires never really touched the blacktop. As we approached Erskine Road we just looked over at each other and realized we did it and then we summed up our thoughts about what impressed us about each other along the way as we climbed into our Erskine neighborhood/home. We summed up the ride in the last quarter mile. I could never imagine all the faceswhen we came around the bend at Lil’ Beach. All the decorations, the kids and all our friends, cycling companions and best buds. What a homecoming. All the cheers and excitement I did not know what to do or say. The attention to us was just overwhelming. I can only say I cannot tell you the appreciation I feel for everyone. The parade of bikes was one more awesome thing to add to the day and the journey. To ride with my son Dakoda and see how hard he workd on decorating his bicycle was, well what can I say, the best ending.
Down to Claire’s Garden for the official greeting with all our friends and families was spectacular. To see one friend after another and the happiness in the air is while I will always and I mean always be proud to call Erskine Lakes my home.
With the block party to follow I have to say Thank You to everyone one more time. It was something special and a great time to catch up. I feel likeI did not spend enough time with everyone. In some ways I could not fathom that I was home.
I am going to depart the blog for now but I will be back with more thoughts soon. Thank you all so much again and It’s great to be home!!

GENE
 
Sunday, July 02, 2006
 
Hi Everyone! We are so grateful for all of the love and support from all of you during this journey. Thanks for helping to make the homecoming celebration so special...the bike parade was SPECTACULAR!...a beautiful show of support! Thank you to everyone who brought food, helped set up and break down! Special thanks to Phyllis, Trish & John, Chris, Richie & Carolyn, Terry & Joe & Meems, Kathleen,Ryan and RonR.,Mr.Art, Jen & Dean, Jim A. Thanks to Rebecca and Quentin for painting "The Ringwood Rock" and for coordinating things down at Little Beach. The decorations were beautiful!Thanks to our kids who helped with preparations and decorations..Carly, Katy, Kaylin, Jenna, JohnCharles, Will & JohnJophes. Thanks to all of Erskine Lakes. You've always been so kind to us. Our Ringwood Police Dept. was awesome to help us out! Mayor Atlas, we thank you, as well for your show of support. Thanks to "The Road Crew"...Laura, Ryan, John, Louie and Jim for biking in and our Motorcycle Support, Jim, John and Wendy (Dubs). I don't want to leave anyone out who helped us...

Many thanks to all! Love, Mare!
 
 
JULY 1, 2006 – HOMECOMING DAY

You couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. As the MasterCard commercials state….PRICELESS! Our HEROES (Don, Gene & Jason) arrived in Hackensack and were greeted with long-awaited and well-deserved HUGS & KISSES from their families. One last trek to make but they would not go this leg alone. They were now supported by other avid cyclists and friends for the journey home to Ringwood where a HEROES WELCOME awaited. There was a small sign that even Claire, our little angel, was with us and watching as a ladybug landed on the shoulder of one of the greeters in Hackensack. Don had told us of the numerous ladybug sightings during their cross-country ride.

The riders mounted their bicycles and departed for Ringwood. It was a smooth trip with the only downside (other than Skyline Drive) was the fact that out of about 20 traffic signals we caught 19 RED LIGHTS. The pace of the trek home to Ringwood was incredible. It seemed like only seconds to the top of Skyline Drive which I have to declare these guys took like real champions and they made it look effortless.

We reached the summit of Skyline Drive and were met by Ringwood’s Finest who would escort our heroes on the final leg of the journey. The HEROES approached Little Beach to be met by parents, friends and children with colorfully decorated bicycles and helmets. Now as a community we could properly WELCOME HOME our HEROES and escort them to Claire’s Memory Garden. The “Bicycle Parade” was just AWESOME if you were there to witness it.

The HEROES and the entire community arrived at Claire’s Memory Garden at Upper Lake. Believe it or not there were several more lady bug sightings. A sign that our Little Angel, Claire, was there with us. Now with all the families and community there we released the Red and Yellow Balloons not only in memory of Claire but in celebration of her and how she has affected so many in such a positive way. There really is no way to describe it.

Finally, a chance to take a breath, sit back and meet with our HEROES in a well deserved little community block party. All in the name of CLAIRE’S RIDE FOR A REASON and RAISING AWARENESS to SUDC.
WELL DONE GUYS, WELL DONE!
 
Saturday, July 01, 2006
 
CLAIRE'S RIDE FOR A REASON STATISTICS:

-Since January 2006 the website has had 1,754 distinct visitors

-1000 of those distinct visitors have surfed to the site since the start of the ride
...Way to go Don, Gene and Jason

-The website has had over 136,906 hits
-People have surfed to our website from 18 different countries
-Our Claire's Ride for a Reason Family's efforts have raised over $25,000

How is that for RAISING AWARENESS?
THANK YOU...THANK YOU...THANK YOU
 
 

DAY 15 - LAST DAY OF RIDE (Stroudsburg, PA to Hackensack, NJ):

Well, what can we say. Several months ago CLAIRE'S RIDE FOR A REASON was all just an idea and today we are actually completing what we (with a whole lot of help from you) set out to do. We can only hope that we RAISED AWARENESS TO SUDC. Our cross country ride may be ending but our REASON continues. Each and every day when someone becomes AWARE of what SUDC is and gives just a little something to help the research and support group activities for the families affected by this phenomena is a day closer to finding and abolishing the reason. A day many of us are looking forward to.

We would like to thank everyone (and we mean everyone! the list of our Claire's Ride for a Reason family is just so long it might cover every mile from coast to coast) for all their support and efforts. We ask that you keep RAISING AWARENESS to SUDC and keep in your thoughts and prayers not only Claire but all the "little angels" who are no longer with us and the families that were left behind. When it comes down to it, YOU (our supporters), all are our INSPIRATION.
THANK YOU and GOD BLESS!
PS: The Blog will continue so keep coming back even after today...our REASON is not done.
 
Welcome to the Claire's Ride Blog. We will be giving you our personal perspectives during our ride as well as photos and other information. When Viewing the Blog, Double Click on any of the pictures to see a larger version.

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