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The Big Ride(2 posts)

The Big Ridenovardr
Oct 22, 2003 6:21 PM
Let me tell you a short story; about some great folks I rode with yesterday. It was my first attempt at a century ride. I made it 81 miles when a rear spoke broke. Without a replacement, I sagged the last 19 miles. However, the story is not about me. It is about the reason I was riding and the two wonderful people who started this ride, Lee Anne Barry and her husband Ben.
Lee Anne is a spirited lady who suffered a brain injury when she was only five years old and today she completed her second Big Ride. The Big Ride is Lee Anne's bi-annual trek across the United States to raise awareness for brain injuries and promote the use of helmets while cycling. She left Portland, Oregon on August 29th and completed her trek today in Orlando, Florida. I only rode from Jacksonville to Daytona but this was the most rewarding ride I have done.
To experience Lee Anne and Ben's spirit and sense of humor was awesome. As an example of Lee Anne's spirit, about 40 miles into yesterday's ride Lee Anne's tire snag a gap in the concrete roadway as we entered the business loop of St. Augustine, Florida. She went down hard, hard enough to crack her helmet. Lee Anne decided it was best for her to sag awhile because of the blow to her head. Had she not been wearing a helmet, the outcome would have been very different.
Right after the paramedic finished tending to her injuries, I told Lee Anne that there was no need to demonstrate how a bicycle helmet works. She laughed and said: "It's okay, now I have one to show the kids I talk to in schools." Lee Anne's mission is obviously a good one.
I have seen many discussions on this board about helmet use. Although, Lee Anne's injury in child hood was from a car accident, the devastating effects and challenges she has experienced in her life are the same of anyone who has or would suffer a brain injury, whether cycling, riding a motorcycle, or riding a horse.
The point Lee Anne is driving home is if you are involved in an activity that risks damaged to your brain protect it! It only takes one time to ride unprotected and the worst happens. Accidents are not totally preventable, that is why we call them accidents. The effects of accidents are what we can protect ourselves and children from and we have a responsibility to do so. My only regret on this ride is I wish I would have gotten this word on this board sooner so some of you could have ridden with Lee Ann and Ben as they made their trak cross country. Lee Anne and Ben I will miss you guys, see you in 2005.
For a pictorial acount of their ride and more information about Lee Anne, Ben and their mission visit

http://thebigride.org/index.html
re: The Big RideLLSmith
Oct 23, 2003 2:00 AM
Wow...these are some very special people. Sorry to say this is the first I have heard about Lee Ann and Ben.