WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – White Plains cyclist Marty Rotberg enjoys a challenge. He’ll participate in perhaps the Connecticut Challenge’s most ambitious event next weekend when he will ride 135 miles in two days.
Rotberg will ride in Friday’s 85-mile ride from Lakeville, Conn. to Westport. He’ll turn around the next day and ride 50 more for the event, which provides programs to empower cancer survivors. His fundraising page is online .
Rotberg rode in more than 10 two-day events previously in Massachusetts, but this is the first year the Connecticut Challenge is offering the two-day option. Rotberg was quick to embrace it. Besides the physical appeal, he also has been touched by the loss of several loved ones to cancer.
“The cause is a strong pull for me, and the memory of the people that I've lost,’’ Rotberg said. “It’s my way of remembering them and honoring them. It’s also a personal and physical challenge. It gives me something to aim for every summer.”
Rotberg hit the streets starting in March to help prepare for the tough two-day ride. In June, he rode 16 days for a total of 550 miles.
“You have to do that, or it’s going to be really difficult,’’ Rotberg said. “If you don’t do the training, you’re going to suffer even more.”
He has rode 75 miles each of the past two years in the event, which began in 2005. Last year, more than 38,000 cancer survivors were impacted by the group’s programs. The CT Challenge also opened its Center for Survivorship in Southport, Conn. in 2013. The center provides programs in exercise, nutrition and psycho-social support for cancer survivors. The facility is the only stand-alone facility in the country dedicated exclusively for use by cancer survivors.
"I’m really impressed by the survivors who ride in the CT Bike Challenge,’’ Rotberg said. “What I do is very little compared to what they do. What survivors who participate at any level are doing is really powerful.”
Rotberg rode the last 10 miles in pouring rain last summer. “That wasn’t a lot of fun,’’ he said. “I was a little skittish on a road bike with cars flying by and water spraying everywhere.”
In the end, however, it’s a ride that he feels compelled to do, no matter the circumstances.
“I think every year is a little more satisfying,’’ Rotberg said. “The satisfaction quotient is even stronger than the previous two years. I think I get more engaged each year.”
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