I had the pleasure of sharing information on our thinksport LIVESTRONG sunscreen to the Texas4000 last night (March 5th). While we regularly share information on the differences between chemical vs physical block sunscreens, and the proper use of sunscreen, speaking to the Texas400 crew is always special.
First, you have to understand who makes up this group. It’s a bunch (every year between 40 – 80) college kids from the University of Texas. But these are not your ordinary college kids. Why? The Texas4000 crew spends a year fundraising and preparing for a little bike ride. I think this is a good place to define “little”… The riders embark on a journey from Austin, Texas to Alaska. The ride covers over 4600 miles over a 70 day period. Along the way, the students engage communities in the conversation of fighting cancer. The riders raise upwards of $500k. In Austin, you regularly see the students wearing their cycling outfits on street corners waving signs and raising money. This is a far departure from what most college kids embrace for their summer adventures.
This is the second time that I’ve spoken to the Texas4000 group, so I was a little more prepared. Not so much for speaking about the need for safe consumer products and that 95% of cancers are believed to be environmentally linked. Each meeting starts off with a Rider Dedication. Each student raises their hand and shares a story about a family member, a friend, or even a friend’s friend that they intend to ride for. The stories typically center around people actively fighting cancer, and they are all absolutely gut wrenching. And as much as you try to prepare for it, it’s just impossible not to get teary-eyed. The riders ride with both the hope for people fighting the fight and in memory of those that have passed. The level of compassion, coupled with intense will to take on the fight is simply amazing.
In 2011, we decided to step in and sponsor the ride with safe sunscreen. Afterall, the riders are going to be under the harmful effects of sun exposure day in and day out. Try and imagine getting on a bike every day and riding that far. There are lots of photos and videos on their site that can give you a good idea of what the event is like. We wanted to be there to protect them along the way. If you live anywhere west of Austin, Texas, we would recommend taking a look at the route. Grab friends and family and cheer them on. And whether you go out to support them directly or not, please consider donating. http://www.texas4000.org/