The first CT Challenge bike ride for cancer survivors took place one decade ago, and New Canaan’s own John Murphy—who participates in honor of his sister, nephew and many friends—has been involved since its inception.
Mr. Murphy, current captain of the New Canaan Riders for Survivors bike team that participates every year in the ride, credited his teammates with doing “an incredible job” in raising more than $23,000 to date for the special ride.
“Many of the team members are Road Warriors (riders who commit to raising a minimum of $3,000),” Mr. Murphy told NewCanaanite.com. “Everyone rides for family and friends who are struggling with cancer, and they are true spokespersons for the groundbreaking support CT Challenge provides.”
A fundraiser for services and grants that support cancer survivors, the race begins at the Interlaken Inn way up in Lakeville and ends in Fairfield after miles of picturesque Connecticut countryside. This year’s ride will take place across two days (July 25 and 26) and up to 100 miles (or however far participants choose to ride). There also are options for more leisurely Saturday-only rides of 10, 25, 50, 75, or 100 miles, as well.
Mr. Murphy said he rides for his sister who is a survivor of breast cancer, his nephew who had thyroid cancer as a child, and many other friends who have faced cancer in their lives. In addition to connections with people who have or have had cancer, Mr. Murphy also explained that his team ride for a singular cause. “Along with the rest of the team, everyone rides for one reason: To inspire and empower those close to us,” Mr. Murphy said.
Two members of Mr. Murphy’s team who have taken part in the race since 2013 and plan to continue their participation this year are Arnold and Lisa Karp of New Canaan. Mr. Karp, of Karp Associates, said he was sold on the idea of riding for the cause after having dinner with Mr. Murphy.
“We were out to dinner with John. I bike ride and John is a much more serious bike rider and next thing I knew John had basically convinced me that I should do the Challenge,” Mr. Karp recalled.
Mr. Karp also explained that since getting involved with the ride he and his family have grown a passion for the work that is done at the Center for Survivorship as well.
“Through the bike ride we met everybody who’s full time job and passion is for the center. And after taking a tour of the facility before the bike ride, and getting to understand the principles and the men and women who sort of make this work every day, you can’t help but to love what they are doing,” Mr. Karp said.
Originally only interested in the bike riding side of the CT Challenge, Mr. Karp and his family have found that they want to help out the cause even when they’re of the bike paths.
“It’s a very unique program,” Mr. Karp said. “It started off as a bike ride to me but it has become a charity that I think is very important that I’m looking to support 365 days a year. Lisa has gotten involved with them and we actually have a daughter who volunteers there every Thursday after school.”
Lisa Karp also saw the center as a way of motivating herself on the ride itself,
“The center is such a special place. There’s really no other place like it. When you’re doing the bike ride you’re thinking about the center and that your hard work is for such a good cause—it sort of helps you push through those hills that you might have otherwise not finished,” Mrs. Karp explained.