By Matt Hombach
Olympic cyclist Chris Horner and pro cyclist and Tour de France commentator Robbie Ventura will take to the hills of northern Baltimore County along with hundreds of other cyclists during the seventh-annual Save-A-Limb Ride, Walk and Festival, presented by Stryker on Oct. 20.
|Robbie Ventura at the 2011 Save-A-Limb Ride|
The event benefits the Save-A-Limb Fund of LifeBridge Health's Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics to provide limb, hip and knee surgery to deserving patients in the United States and around the world.
Ventura is participating in the event for the fourth time, and said he looked forward to providing motivation for other riders.
"The Save-A-Limb course around Oregon Ridge is gorgeous and offers great terrain for cycling," Ventura said. "I enjoy interacting with the riders and try to ride with everyone throughout the day. I'll start at the back of the pack and work my way up to the top local riders at the front of the pack. The way the finish line is positioned makes it a lot of fun. You really find out what kind of shape you are in.
"There is just a great energy surrounding this event, from the people that plan it to the people that participate. A lot of the people who benefit from the Save-A-Limb Fund attend the event, allowing you to see them progress year to year. The procedures that lengthen limbs and actually grow bone are astounding. I'm proud to support their work."
Joining Ventura will be Horner, winner of the 2011 Tour of California. Horner also interacts with other riders and is a lot of fun to be around, Ventura said. Horner, who is 40 years old, recently made his Olympic debut in the men's road race in London.
"I am grateful that professionals like Robbie and Chris are taking part in the Save-A-Limb," said Dr. Ronald Delanois, an orthopedic surgeon and one of the chief organizers of the event. "They help us take this to the next level, and participants really enjoy the chance to interact and ride with them.
"For cyclists, riding the course with Robbie and Chris is like taking batting practice with Cal Ripken Jr. or shooting hoops with Michael Jordan."
Making a special appearance will be Lenny Robinson, aka the "Route 29 Batman," who became renowned after he was pulled over in costume on his way to a hospital visit. Robinson has a long-standing relationship with the Save-A-Limb Ride and will be debuting his brand-new Batmobile, a custom-made replica of the car from the 1960s TV show.
Also appearing will be Earl Cole, winner of the 2007 edition of "Survivor: Fiji," the hit show on CBS. Cole's own experience growing up with Perthes' Disease, a hip disease regularly treated at the RIAO, has inspired him to support the Save-A-Limb Fund.
Race-day events will include a fitness fair and carnival, which features the latest trends in cycling and fitness, food and games. To register or sponsor the Save-A-Limb Ride, visit SaveALimbRide.org.
Matt Hombach is a volunteer on the Save-A-Limb Ride event committee.
More Cheap Seats:
• It May Be A New Gino's, But It's Same Old Place
• Sports Boosters Aiming To Sign Life Members
• Kinesiology Tape: Miracle Or Myth?
• Sami Zerwitz Competes Despite Family Tragedy
• Save-A-Limb Festival Set For Oregon Ridge
Issue 177: September 2012