300-mile bike ride to D.C. benefits Arthritis Foundation
As he huffed and puffed through the end of a 15-mile training ride last April, Upper St. Clair resident Jeff Krakoff wasn't sure he'd be able to go more than 60 miles a day by bike along the Great Allegheny Passage to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation of Western Pennsylvania.
“I did 15 miles, and I was beat; I was thinking, ‘How am I going to do 300 miles?' ” said Krakoff, 49, who led eight other bicyclists on a fundraiser group ride to Washington, over Labor Day weekend. “It was such a feeling of accomplishment when we rolled into D.C.”
Krakoff, who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, said medication and exercise have helped him control painful flare-ups of his condition. A group of South Hills professionals he plays pick-up soccer with at Boyce-Mayview Park proposed a bike ride in February, and after realizing that rakoff and another rider, Pete Chiste, suffered from different forms of arthritis, Krakoff decided to make the ride a fundraiser.
The ride raised more than $5,700 for the Arthritis Foundation. Krakoff said he was keeping the fundraiser webpage at crowdrise.com/bikeride/fundraiser/jeffkrakoff open until the end of the month.
“The amazing thing was, (Krakoff) set the webpage up about a week before we left and we raised more than $5,400 in just that week,” said Kurt Meissner, 45, of Upper St. Clair, who said the ride was his “crackpot idea.”
After months of progressively longer training rides, the team made the 331-mile trek in five days spanning the Labor Day weekend, setting off on the Great Allegheny Passage from the Boston trailhead on Thursday and arriving in Washington along t he C&O Canal Towpath Tuesday.
After stopping in Harper's Ferry, W.Va., the last day, a rheumatoid arthritis flare-up left Krakoff in pain that almost kept him from completing the ride, but he decided to push through with the rest of the team.
“Several of us, me included, hadn't biked since our college days,” said Chiste, 55, of Peters, who suffers from osteoarthritis in one knee.
“For me, the real hidden gem was (the training) so strengthened the muscles around the knee joint that my arthritis pain decreased 70, 80 percent,” Chiste said. “On the bike, I had no pain.”
Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Matthew Santoni to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Montour class sets up Facebook page for school district
- Nesting towers planned for chimney swifts in Allegheny County parks
- Mt. Lebanon Council of Republican Women plans benefit
- Meeting planned to discuss business district issues in Ross
- Young achiever: Chancharik Mitra
- Battle over potential sidewalk ordinance heats up in Ross
- Crafty Peters teen to sell jewelry at Fort Ligonier Days
- Ross meeting to discuss survey results for Denny Park