The energy and spirits were high at the inaugural Richmond CycleNation event on May 30th. CycleNation empowers participants to use bikes to get brain and heart-healthy – all while raising funds for community programs that will prevent stroke and heart disease.
Co-workers, friends and family rang cow bells and cheered on teams at this relay style cycling event overlooking scenic Maymont park. Riders represented 23 teams and took turns on stationary bikes during four, 25-minute sessions while listening to local cycling instructors and motivating music. Over 200 people were in attendance, and over $19,000 was raised from sponsorships and individual fundraising efforts. Sponsors included Amgen Cardiovascular, Deloitte, AllyAlign, Flow Cycle Studio and CycleBar.
Ja Jones, local fitness celebrity, served as the emcee and got the crowd pumped up and high fiving one another for their efforts. Between the sessions, two young stroke survivors and event organizers, Malissa Bradshaw and Skylar Doerwaldt, shared their stories with the crowd and stressed the importance of knowing F.A.S.T. – the acronym for recognizing stroke warning signs: face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty and time to call 9-1-1.
Awards were given to Team November Project for most miles, Skylar Doerwaldt for most engagement with social media and Malissa Bradshaw for most spirited. Delicious and healthy appetizers, cold beverages, a selfie station and a variety of interactive, games added to the evening’s success. To donate or learn more about how to you can get involved with next year’s event, visit Cyclenation.org/Richmond.
The American Heart Association, Richmond is working with local partners to improve access to and consumption of healthy foods, catalyze efforts to improve social determinants of health and improve access to and quality of primary care in Greater Richmond. We are grateful for our volunteers and supporters who are a relentless force for longer, healthier lives for everyone in the Richmond area. Keeping hearts beating is what keeps our hearts pumping.