Join Open LMS in Participating in the Great Cycle Challenge!
Have you heard about the Great Cycle Challenge? Open LMS is excited to participate this year, and we [virtually] sat down with Jesse Safran, Senior Manager of Technical Services at Open LMS and a GCC Champion for this year’s event, to learn more about this yearly challenge that supports a great cause.
For those who do not know, what is the Great Cycle Challenge & how did it get its start?
The Great Cycle Challenge USA (GCC, #GCCUSA) started in 2015. It is a month-long event in which cyclists across the US challenge themselves to see how many miles they can ride and how much money they can raise for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund (CCRF).
The CCRF is a non-profit that raises money for childhood cancer research and the support of families and children with cancer. CCRF’s ties to cycling date all the way back to 1979 when 13-year-old Katie Hageboeck, who was nearing the end of her 16-month battle with leukemia, requested that her savings for a new 10-speed bike be donated to the CCRF.
What impact has GCC had?
In the past 6 years, riders from all 50 states have ridden a total of 18,831,310 miles, and have raised $38 million to support the CCRF. This year, GCC participants have already added almost $7 million to that total in the first two weeks of this year’s event. These funds are then used for funding cancer research and helping families, including over $94 million in research grants nationwide since the beginning of the CCRF.
When did you get involved with GCC and what is your role as a GCC ambassador this year?
I first got involved with the GCC in 2018, beginning with two other Open LMS team members, Jordan DeGroot and Nathan Rosenquist. At the time, the three of us were looking for ways to engage fitness enthusiasts within the company in some sort of event that we could do together, despite being miles apart due to our remote work environment. All three of us are cyclists, so when I saw an ad on Facebook a few days later for the GCC, it seemed like a perfect fit. Jordan and Nathan were on board immediately and we all signed up. We started off the first year not knowing what to expect, but ended up with 21 more team members participating, riding nearly 1500 miles as a team, and raising over $7,000!Most importantly, we all had a lot of fun getting a bit more fit, posting pictures of our rides, and telling stories of what we would see out on the roads across the country!
Last year was my first year as a GCC ambassador, referred to as a GCC Champion. My responsibility is to help spread the word about the event and help others get involved, both as participants and donors.
How can people get involved in the GCC?
There are three ways to get involved in the GCC. You can:
- Sign up to participate at https://greatcyclechallenge.com/. Simply sign yourself up, pledge a certain distance, and then begin fundraising. The site makes it easy to get started, including info for you to share about your ride and fundraiser on social media.
- You can donate to the Open LMS team by going to https://greatcyclechallenge.com/Teams/OpenLMS and directly clicking “Donate Now”.
- You can donate to a rider, like your favorite participating Open LMS team member! Just go to https://greatcyclechallenge.com/Teams/OpenLMS, click on one of the riders you wish to donate to, and click the Donate Now button on their rider page.
Anything else you want people to know about the GCC?
I hope to see some folks join in because it’s a lot of fun and for a great cause!
If you’re willing and able to donate, we would appreciate the support! Please visit our team page to donate or share.