Century ride benefits Parkinson's

By: Matt Long
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For people who love long-distance cycling, the third annual Folsom Powerhouse Century Ride is for them. The ride will be held Saturday, May 7, beginning between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. at Bicycles Plus at 705 Gold Lake Drive in Folsom. Riders can choose between a 30-mile, 62-mile or 100-mile ride. Not only are the rides more challenging at the longer distances, but also because of the hills that come with it. There are a few rolling hills in the 30-mile ride, a few more in the 62-miler, while the century ride features a lot of climbing. “The 30-mile ride heads out of Folsom to the Loomis Basin and the turnaround is in New Castle,” said Reinhard Seyffertitz, the man who planned the course for each ride. “The 62-mile ride goes by Newcastle and down into the valley and up the other side. There’s a nice rest stop in the park. The 100-miler goes down into the valley all the way to Highway 49 and the turnaround is five or six miles north of Auburn. There’s probably a 4,000-foot change in elevation.” No matter which distance a rider chooses to ride, the event is more than just challenging. “It’s a unique ride,” said Debbi Aban, who works in communications for the U.S. Cycle Tour Club, the organization hosting this event. “It’s a very scenic ride and there is less traffic than a lot of similar rides.” There’s more to the ride than the challenge and scenic value. The ride benefits the National Parkinson’s Foundation. Event organizer, Mike Ambrozewicz, lost his father to Parkinson’s and that’s why he chose to support the foundation. Parkinson’s is an incurable disease that inflicts 1 in 100 people by 60 years of age. About three years ago when Ambrozewicz was looking to start this event, he met John Crews, owner of Bicycles Plus in Folsom, who has Parkinson’s disease. Crews told Ambrozewicz he would support the event and is a major sponsor. “The moment I met John I knew this event was a must and many lives would be enriched because of the support and knowledge that an event like this would bring,” Ambrozewicz said. Crews, likewise, enjoys lending his support to the event. “I’m excited about it,” Crews said. “I suffer from Parkinson’s so I’m glad to see the benefactor is Parkinson’s. The initial idea is much bigger than this ride. When Mike first came to me his idea was to ride across the country with multiple stops to increase awareness to Parkinson’s. This ride now is acting as a fundraiser to something grander on a national level.” Crews, an avid cyclist, said he tries to ride at least one century ride a year. “I have to pick my poisons,” Crews said. “The timing’s got to all work out and it also depends on how much climbing there is because there’s a limit to what I can do. The doctors told me when I was diagnosed eight years ago that in about 10 years I wouldn’t be able to do some things that I was able to do then. I feel like it’s catching up to me, but I refuse to agree with the 10 years.” Kicking off the annual event is a pre-registration event from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 6. There will be a collection of vintage bikes at the first Historic Folsom Bike Night next to Bicycles Plus. Riders may vote for their favorite bike and prizes will be awarded to the top-three entries. On Saturday registration continues from 6 to 6:30 a.m. at Bicycles Plus and the ride will begin between 6:30 and 7:30. Following the ride, which also ends at Bicycles Plus, there will be a lunch and receptions at the Historic Folsom Powerhouse State Park.Registration is $45 in advance and $55 on the day of the event. Group discounts are available. Event T-shirts are also available to purchase. To register go to Century Ride The Folsom Powerhouse Century Ride, with options for shorter 62-mile and 30-mile rides, will be held on May 7, beginning between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. at Bicycles Plus, located at 705 Gold Lake Drive in Folsom.