Mike Nosco Memorial Ride No 10
I’ve just returned from another fun trip to LA to be a part of the Mike Nosco Memorial ride. This year was the 10th anniversary of the ride, which falls on November 3rd every year to commemorate the day Mike Nosco lost his life 14 years ago. It’s truly a one of a kind event in bikes in that no matter who you are, or who you rep, if you show up for this ride everyone agrees that this event is about so much more than bicycles.
It’s rare to see competing brands all supporting the same event, but every single year, from bikes to apparel, to knick knacks and doodads, competitors raise their white flags to lend a helping hand and support the event that raises a whole lot of money to help “provide financial relief to families and/or individuals who are confronting a life threatening illness.” The man behind it all, Jack Nosco, is one of the kindest folks you’ll ever meet. He is never afraid to speak his mind, and never hesitant to help if he can. It’s his energy that has steered the ship and sucked in so many amazing people to year after year pull off this ridiculously outstanding event.
I’ve been coming for the past 3 years as a part of the Network for Advancing Athletes, a non profit organization that provides a women’s clinic to give some advice and piece of mind to the women who are signed up, or considering signing up for what is known as an extremely challenging ride.
The Mike Nosco memorial ride has three options. The full ride takes you up 3 of the most challenging climbs in the Santa Monica mountains (Deer Creek, Mulholland, and Latigo). It’s about 80 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing. The next option is 62 miles, but trades Mulholland and Deer Creek for the unabashed double climb of Latigo. The Liv loop is 47 miles, and takes you up Mulholland alone. No matter which route you choose, you’ve definitely got your work cut out for you, and with November in SoCal still bringing in 90 degree heat, the climbing itself isn’t your only obstacle.
The ride is challenging by design, as Jack put together the route to help cope with the loss of his brother.
The clinic has been successfully running for the past 4 years and participants can always look forward to learning something different and helpful regardless of their level. It’s a unique opportunity to hear advice directly from aspiring, current, and retired, pro women cyclists. The women also have the opportunity to ask us questions about whatever they want to know from climbing tips to saddle sores and everything in between. This year featured cyclists, Amber Pierce, Janel Holcomb, Jess Cerra, Kathryn Bertine, Lauren Hall, Joy McCulloch, and me!
I can’t help but notice this event like many in the world of cycling does not attract a huge contingent of POC cyclists, but every year the numbers grow, and I always meet someone new and wonderful.
This year I was asked to be a Sherpa, a program that provided a dedicated domestique for the day in exchange for a generous donation to the Nosco foundation. I was partnered with a former recipient who decided to take on the 47 mile route. It was a pleasure to cheer her on, keep her company, and help wherever I could to make the day a little less grueling. We made it to the finish line with smiles all around, so I’ll consider it a job well done!
This years event is done and dusted, and I’m typing this recap from a rather turbulent plane ride back to Atlanta. It was a joy to see so many of my bike friends, do a good thing, support a good cause, and get in a few happiness watts under the California sun. I look forward to the next one!