Front Range Cyclist Powers a Unique Adventure
Two athletes. One pair of legs. 158 miles.
June 20, 2018
Helen Gardner and her buddy 9 year old Noah Williams will begin a 158 mile ride along the West Elk Loop in Colorado on August 28th to support inclusion for athletes with disabilities. Although Helen will be doing all the pedaling, Noah is also an accomplished athlete. To date, he has completed 5 triathlons, 20 half marathons and 5 full marathons. Born at 26 weeks and considered a micro preemie, Noah has some significant disabilities but his spirit is remarkably strong.
Helen and Noah’s adventure is in support of the Kyle Pease Foundation whose mission is to provide assistance to people like Noah to help them meet their individual goals through sports. Programs include scholarship opportunities, the purchase of medical equipment or adaptive sports equipment as well as educational campaigns to create awareness about disabilities.
Helen first met Noah when at a time when her own life felt very unsettled. She hadn’t been around many special needs persons before and admits to feeling incredibly uncomfortable around him. Until he smiled. That was the beginning of redefining differences, road blocks and even success. Knowing Noah has led Helen to look outside of what is “comfortable” and to planning this great adventure.
Helen says, “We aren’t just doing this for Noah and I, but to show people that there are infinite possibilities for those we consider “incapable” and “different” if you simply put your mind and a long set of legs to it. (long legs not necessarily required!). We are raising the awareness that it can be done and the funds to make it possible for other kids like Noah.”
Helen invites the community to join her for a training ride at 9am on Sunday, July 15th from Big Ring Cycles in Golden. She’ll be pulling the trailer and her special guest, PJ Snider who has offered to be her training partner. PJ has Angleman syndrome, is 32 and weighs 72lbs, for a total towing weight of 104 pounds. Suggested donation $20. Coffee and doughnuts will be served following the ride.
On Sunday, August 26th, Big Ring Cycles will be hosting a send-off for Noah and Helen. Helen commented, “I’m looking forward to people being able to meet Noah and his Mom Naomi. The kid is pure magic and quite the inspiration. He’s taught me so much and makes training and riding so much more meaningful.”
Day 1 – 47 miles Gunnison to Mesa Creek Campground
Day 2 – 36 miles Mesa Creek Campground to Paonia
Day 3 – 48 miles Paonia to Crested Butte (up and over Kebler Pass)
Day 4 – 27 miles Crested Butte to Gunnison