Last year, Jennifer Fuller, a fairly new resident to Custer, watched as her husband, Bill, rode in the Great Cycle Challenge.
This year, she is joining in the fight.
The Great Cycle Challenge is indeed a fight, as riders raise money to fight children’s cancer. Riders set a personal ride target to pedal in June and log their miles throughout the month to achieve their goal, tracking their progress online through their personal challenge page.
Anyone can do the ride: any age, fitness level or location in the United States. There are no minimum miles a rider must pedal. The amount is determined by the rider. It can be 25 miles, 250 miles or 1,000 miles.
Despite muscle weakness and balance issues that prevent her from riding a regular bike, Fuller, 67, who moved to Custer with her husband in June 2017 following retirement (“We love the area after spending vacations here since 2000,” she said) decided to take the challenge in March. She registered, shared her ride information on Facebook and email and started taking donations immediately.
“I got a Liberty Trike last October and I love riding now,” she said. “I wanted to do something to help others and this seemed liked a great cause.”
Fuller said, although none of the children in her family have cancer, she knows many children who do have cancer, including the child of a former neighbor.
The challenge takes place for the rest of this month. Riders can go out on rides solo or they can participate in group rides throughout the country. They ride when they want to for as long as they want to. Fuller said she got her bike “tuned up” in Rapid City and has been taking rides already, mostly during the morning hours on the Mickelson Trail.
She has an odometer on her trike that allows her to record the mileage and post her progress on her Great Cycle Challenge dashboard on the internet. It’s the first time she has ridden a bike since she was a child.
Fuller is part of a team consisting of riders from across the county who are all Liberty Trike riders. Her teammates hail from California, Florida, New Jersey and Texas. Fuller is the team captain.
Fuller says it’s not too late for people who want to sign up to ride and they can do so by visiting greatcyclechallenge.com. Those who would like to sponsor Fuller’s ride can do so by visiting greatcyclechallenge.com/riders/JenniferFuller.
“Every two minutes, a child is diagnosed with cancer,” Fuller said. “Kids should be living life, not fighting for it. I’m riding to kick cancer’s butt!”