Cyclists to travel 1,500 miles in fourth Ride4Gabe

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Three ultra-distance cyclists departed from Good People Brewing in Birmingham on Saturday, July 27 at 10 p.m. The ride, called Ride4Gabe “Summit Duchenne,” will take the trio up the second highest paved road in North America.

Demetrious White (56 years old), Brian Toone (42) and Michael Staley (38) will pedal about 220 miles a day, crossing eight states and covering 1,500 miles to get to Colorado. The destination is 14,115 feet above sea level, high above Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the summit of Pikes Peak.

It is the mission of these cyclists and the Hope4Gabe Foundation to raise awareness about and promote research to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Fourteen-year-old Gabe Griffin from Shelby County is cute, red-headed, and freckle faced. The Hope for Gabe Foundation, started by his parents when he was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at age 3, works nationally to raise Duchenne awareness and support promising research.

“This is going to be an awesome experience and a very challenging ride, and it is all about Gabe and ending Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy,” said ride organizer Staley. “We will be live streaming our adventure, sharing our pain and suffering, and pointing out that our muscles will recover but Gabe’s do not.”

According to Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed in childhood, affecting approximately 1 in every 3,500 live male births  –about 20,000 new cases each year worldwide. Because the Duchenne gene is found on the X-chromosome, it primarily affects boys; however, it occurs across all races and cultures.

Duchenne results in progressive loss of strength and is caused by a mutation in the gene that encodes for dystrophin. Because dystrophin is absent, the muscle cells are easily damaged. The progressive muscle weakness leads to serious medical problems, particularly issues relating to the heart and lungs. Young men with Duchenne typically live into their late 20s.

Cyclists will be welcomed to join the Ride4Gabe riders for as long as they can maintain the established pace. Events are being planned to bring the Duchenne community, the Ride4Gabe team and supporters, donors and the news media together at various points along the route.

Visit Ride4gabe.com for more information and to donate. The website also includes a tracking feature to follow the riders.

You can see pictures and stories posted as the riders on Facebook or Instagram @Ride4Gabe.