Hole in the Wall Gang Camp hosts ‘Camp Challenge Ride’

By Wally Robinson - ReminderNews
Ashford - posted Thu., Sep. 15, 2011
Race Director Ken Alberti delivers his safety briefing prior to the start of the 100K ride. Photos by Wally Robinson.
Race Director Ken Alberti delivers his safety briefing prior to the start of the 100K ride. Photos by Wally Robinson.

Bicyclists of all ages turned up Sept. 10 at the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for the third annual Camp Challenge Ride over the area’s highways and byways. The event is just one of a number of programs that raises funds to send seriously ill children to the camp and supports the camp’s year-round services, including the Hospital Outreach Program.

Riders could participate in rides of 15 miles, 30 miles, or the Metric Century (100 K, 62.5 miles), which all started and ended at the camp’s front gate. For the first time this year, there was also a Kids’ Ride for ages 4 and up. Those 16 and up pledged to raise a minimum of $250, while those under 16 committed to a minimum of $100.

“The event raised over $230,000 last year,” said Team Hole in the Wall Director Ken Alberti. “We are hopeful that we’ll top that figure this year, but we won’t know until the end of September, as we’re accepting contributions until then.”

Susan Miller, of Cromwell, raised $375 in her second year and finished the 15-mile race in one hour and one minute. “I’m a member of the BILE Cycling Team,” she said with a grin. “The five of us are sponsored by the Mid-State Medical Center in Meriden, and we raised over $2,000 as a team.”

Mary K. Dupont, of Wallingford, rode to honor the late son of her best friend. “He was a camper here and he just loved it,” she said. “Nick was a wonderful kid who was just 15 when he died this past year. His mom devotes a lot of time to the camp and the ride was the least I could do.”

The riders are accompanied all along the various routes by chase cars, a motorcycle support team, mobile bike-tech specialists, and hundreds of volunteers at rest stops.

The ride concluded with a festival of music, food and entertainment, as well as tours of the facility for riders and their families.
For more information about the camp, go to www.teamholeinthewall.org.

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