A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to ride the final stretch of the Pacific Coast Cycle For a Cause. I joined in with Max Kuszaj, Jesse Hall, Pep Fujas, Cody Barnhill. Sherry (and Ayla) McConkey, -just to name a few- in Pismo Beach, CA to ride the rest of the way to San Diego to raise money for our brothers Shane McConkey, Billy Poole, and Riley Poor and their associated foundations. The next four days were kind of a blur for me as I rode 80-100 miles a day- spending literally all day pedaling on a bike was challenging to say the least after I haven’t really ridden before at all! HUGE props go to the guys that rode the whole way, I’m jealous of your legs of steel!!! My portion of the ride was from Pismo Beach to San Deigo, a rough 350 miles in 4 short days, I lost a little skin on my butt and my legs were sore for a week- but it was amazing.
Even though we all made it, happy and exhausted with a gorgeous San Diego sunset as our backdrop, finishing the ride, the cause must live on. I believe Max put it most eloquently-
“As freeskiing athletes and friends we are involved in an amazing industry, but one that needs a lot of direction when it comes to the health and well-being of its’ participants. Yes, it is a one-of-a-kind industry in many ways, and one that has consumed my life for nearly 10 years. I have met the most amazing individuals, traveled the world, and have made the best family of friends one could ever imagine possessing. With the stream of tragic accidents continuing, injuring and claiming the lives of friends, something needs to be changed. When I say “something” I am stressing the health, life, and general insurance freeskiing athletes cannot carry to protect themselves and their families against the financial struggle that may occur with an accident. I cannot think of another industry where the athletes and participants involved are in a situation like this, and it MUST improve.
Common questions often linger in my mind constantly. “Why can’t an athlete receive health insurance with a sponsor when signing a contract?” “Why can’t athletes like us receive life insurance that is affordable?” “How can companies turn their backs on an athlete who is in need after an injury?” The questions continue on and on, and for some reason I cannot find the proper answers, and that I have an “EXTREME” issue with. I hope that with events like the “Cycle for a Cause” we can bring some awareness and shed some light on these answers.” -Max Kuszaj
With that being said- it’s that time of year again, the mountain tops are getting white and the leaves have fallen. I can smell winter’s arrival and I begin to dream about powder days once again. I’m ready.