MORGAN HILL, CA (BRAIN)—Fifteen retailers accompanied by seven journalists and ten Specialized employees rolled out of the company’s headquarters this morning on the first leg of a six-day ride to Las Vegas.
Specialized’s third annual ride to support the Susan G. Komen breast cancer research foundation will cover more than six hundred miles crossing California’s Sierra Nevada mountains and rolling across scorching-hot Death Valley where temperatures are expected to soar to 115 degrees before arriving in Las Vegas next Tuesday.
Mike Sinyard, Speicalized’s founder and CEO, told the 32 cyclists that they are on the ride to have fun and not jeopardize their health or safety. “The object is to have fun and ride bikes,” he said after an early evening dinner of pasta, salad and bread.
“This is a great ride for a great cause,” Sinyard added. Specialized has donated more than $400,000 to the foundation from sales of pink ribbon products since establishing a partnership with the non-profit in 2007.
“We said, ‘let’s send invitations out—people won’t say yes,’” Sinyard quipped. “But the list just kept growing and growing.”
Today’s ride is among the longest on the six-day schedule as it leaves Morgan Hill and ends at Lake McSwain, a reservoir in the foothills of Mariposa County. It’s a 130-mile ride that takes riders over 4,200-foot Mount Hamilton just east of San Jose before heading across California’s Central Valley.
Retailers from around the country have been invited on the ride. Among them is Chris White, owner of Ski Hut, in Duluth, Minnesota. Over dinner White joked that he would find himself pedaling alone on the trek. Several riders sitting nearby assured him that he wouldn’t be alone.