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

Claire's Ride for a Reason Blog
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Claire's Ride 2008 was another awesome RIDE!!!

We had an awesome KickOff Dinner on the eve of the ride provided to by our Hosts Maryann and Don. It was a PASTA Extravaganza!

On Saturday morning all the riders (Don Tomaszewski, Don Van Teyens, Tony Van Grouw & John Burke met at Claire's Garden. We departed at approximately 5:30 a.m. It had rained overnight so it was a little damp and cool which suited the riders. All in all the adrenaline was a pumping and everyone was anxious to get going.

The ride began and within the first mile or so JB (John Burke) suffered a rear flat. Not a good sign but better to get it out of the way. The flat repaired the riders were on their way down Ringwood Avenue. The ride took the group through the hills of Butler and Boonton. A very scenic route but challenging due to the long inclines. But we all know if there is an incline there is a decline which was always welcome. It appeared as if JB was the guy going to be roughed up this day. Leg cramps started around mile 15 for JB but he continued on with the assistance of his fellow riders.

The riders were approaching the end of the first leg when the next incident took place. Apparently down near Bedminister the Railroad Crossings have beautiful gates which they don't have to use unless they want to. The riders were approaching a RailRoad Crossing when a Rail Service Car was approaching. The gates were expected to come down as the train slowed to a stop just prior to the crossing. In the confusion that followed Don Tomaszewski braked and JB didn't and BAM! JB crashed into the NEW TREK MADONE and went flying landing on his head while knocking Don to the ground as well. Thankfully HELMETS are a must for our RIDERS and should be for all RIDERS. No major injuries other than a scrape, a bent spoke and a cracked helmet. Donnie questioned the brilliant rail employees who stated, "We Stop at All Crossings". Don questioned then why didn't the gates come down? No reply!

The riders continued on and connected with their SAG Wagons headed up by Maryann Tomaszewski and Trish Burke. The rest of the support staff included Carly & Katy Tomaszewski as well as Jenna & John Charles Burke. It was at this time our 5th Rider Gene Buonomo joined the ride. Better late than never (especially when you can avoid the hills of north Jersey...right Gene?)

The ride continued under Sunny Skies. It was a beautiful day for the ride. All was going well until the riders and SAG Staff ran into a Cycling Racing Event on Canal Road. The riders were allowed to continue on but the SAG had to detour...and the adventure began. The riders continued on without their support. Unfortunately, the SAG Staff was given poor directions for a detour and it was 1 hour and 30 minutes before they were able to meet up with the riders again around lunch time. This delay extended lunch and the day a bit longer than expected. The riders were able to get replenishment and even some home-made ice cream when they chatted up a store owner waiting for the SAG Wagon and lunch. When finally together again lunch was served and the riders off again.

The rest of the ride was incident free. There were stops at the Wood Shed where we met up with Don's Brother, Steve. The ride through Brendan Byrne State Forest/Pine Barrens. Who could forget the 19 mile flat leg in the beating sun. Once across the Mullica Bridge the riders were in the home stretch.

The riders arrived at the Cape May Lighthouse to a GRAND and WELL DESERVED WELCOME provided by The Van Teyens Family, The Buonomo Family, The Tomaszewski and The Burke Family. It goes without saying but The ENERGY from STEVE TOMASZEWSKI is AWESOME. Thanks Steve and we have to get you on a bike next year.
Monday, July 02, 2007

Claire’s Ride for A Reason 2007 Cycling Event was an AWESOME EVENT. The bike tour, a 207 mile ride, from High Point State Park to Cape May, was completed in just under 12 hours (riding time).

In all, 7 Cyclists participated in the event which left from High Point State Park at about 6 a.m. and arrived at the Lighthouse in Cape May, NJ at about 9:30 p.m. Don Tomaszewski, Gene Buonomo and Bladdymir Coronel made it portal to portal (the entire 207 miles). In all, the riders accumulated over 1075 miles between 7 of them.

There was a bit of a chill (51 degrees) at the start but not cold enough to diminish the spirit of our cyclists.
The chill soon gave way to a beautiful sunny day for a 200 mile ride. The day was just PERFECT! We couldn't have asked for better conditions. It was as if our Angel Claire was looking out for us (and she was).

Outside of a minor cycling collision (unsure if things got a little competitive between our lead cyclists), an 8 mile detour as the result of a missed turn, 5 flat tires and the sun going down leaving us in complete darkness, the event was an awesome experience with all cyclists posting personal bests for total mileage. The three cyclists who rode the entire distance averaged 17.4 mph while the others were not far behind at about 15.6 mph. That is an awesome pace for the number of miles put in. To all our riders....Congratulations for a job well done!!!!!
Don Tomaszewski
Gene Buonomo
Larry Sigua
Bladdymir Coronel
Ryan Roskilly
Laura Haftek
John Burke

The success of the day would not have been possible without the support of our "SAG" Wagons and staff. To continually ride around checking on all our cyclists, making sure they were hydrated and fueled and most importantly keeping us on route. A SPECIAL THANK YOU goes out to:

Maryann Tomaszewski
Carly Tomaszewski
Katy Tomaszewski
Ron Roskilly

Thank you to Tracey Buonomo and Steven Tomaszewski for being at the Cape May Lighthouse to welcome all the riders as they completed the High Point to Cape May in a Day Ride to Raise Awareness to SUDC in the name of Claire Tomaszewski. Another Special Thank You goes out to all our sponsors who unselfishly supported our cause in a variety of ways. Please visit our Sponsor Page to see who they are and don't forget to patronize those establishments.

Please don't forget that although this year's cycling event is completed we ask that all our website visitors and friends continue to RAISE AWARENESS to SUDC in the name of Claire Elizabeth Tomaszewski and if possible, forward any donations to

Claires Ride for A Reason/CJF
and mail to
Claire's Ride for A Reason
c/o 27 Pequot Road
Ringwood, NJ 07456
Friday, June 29, 2007

Everyone arrived at the Comfort Inn in Port Jervis in tact. After settling in we all went to a local country style eating establishment and loaded up on some CARBS. For future reference shrimp should not be allowed to be sold more than 5 miles from the ocean. Just ask Katy.

Well it is 10:30 p.m. and most of us are too wound up to sleep but we have hit the rack. Probably won't hear from us again until halfway through the ride. Look for us at the local WAWA's who have been gracious enough to replenish us with food and fluids.

It is the eve of our NJ Jaunt. At this very moment our riders are sitting down to a energizing meal and going over the details and logistics for tomorrows ride. And what a ride it will be.
We will try to update you as we crank it down to Cape May. May the wind be at our backs.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Well, High Point to Cape May...In A Day is almost upon us. Should be very interesting to say the least.

We should have some interesting stories and events to tell you about during the one day excursion. We'll get an early start at around 5 a.m. from the monument at High Point State Park near Port Jervis. Our riders will be split into two groups of 4 each. Group 1/Team Claire is our more experienced group. Group 2/Team Lady Bug are our up and comers. No matter what the 200 mile trek in about 14-15 hours will be intense. Well gotta run...but check back. We'll have more to tell you about prior to our departure on June 30th.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Well Our 2007 Event is almost upon us. Time to limber up those legs, inflate the tires and oil the chains.

Before we do that though we have our 2007 Comedy Show to Raise Awareness for SUDC.
If you haven't already surf on over to www.clairesride.org and download a Ticket Form to be mailed in for the show. It promises to be a great time.

Hope to see you there!

The Claire's Ride Team
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!!

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!

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.
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.

May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / April 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / June 2008 /

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