By Mark Johnson
Cindi Hart has an impressive resume: national and world medal cyclist and speedskater, a Special Olympics coach, and 2005 US Olympic coach of the year. Yet, there is one accomplishment of which she is particularly proud: a two-time breast cancer survivor.
Thus, it was not surprising that Hart chose to combine her love of cycling with a desire to connect with others whose lives have been affected by cancer. In Spokes of Hope, Hart discovered a winning combination.
“I wanted to get involved with other survivors,” Hart said. “We all wanted to connect with one another because no one should have to go through the cancer journey alone. So, we started riding from one treatment center to the next to offer hope and support. Making that connection with other survivors is so very important.”
Spokes of Hope is a non-profit organization which seeks to raise both funds and awareness for those who are battling cancer either as a patient or as a caregiver. Cyclists ride in honor of those who have completed treatment, those who are in treatment, and those who lost their lives to cancer. On Sept. 8, Spokes of Hope will participate in Zionsville’s annual Fall Fest.
“We’re really very excited to be involved with Zionsville and the Lion’s Club as Zionsville becomes more and more bicycle friendly,” Hart said.
Part of the goal of Spokes of Hope is to change people’s perception of cancer.
“People have to understand that we don’t want pity, we want a cure,” Hart said. “When we get together, it is as far from a pity party as you can get!
We celebrate life, we embrace life and we experience life. Hope is really the number one enemy of cancer. That is part of our slogan: cancer is not contagious, but hope can be.
The ride will include three courses, 31 miles, 62 miles or 100 miles, and snack stops will be included on each route. Survivors will be honored at the beginning of the ride, and at the conclusion of the ride, there will be a bell for survivors to ring to celebrate their finish.
Registration, which is $50, is open now and will remain open through the day of the race when registration opens at 7 a.m. and the race begins at 8 a.m. If you would like to become involved with Spokes of Hope or to contribute, please visit spokes of hope at www.spokesofhome.com.