Archive for Races

Celebration Cycle – Route

Harold and Sara Strope

The Celebration Cycle is a four day bicycle ride from Albany, NY to Boston, MA to celebrate Harold Strope’s 20th “Heart-Aversary.” The route will cover the almost 200 mile journey he took in an ambulance in 1995 to receive his new heart at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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Day 1: Albany to Berkshires

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Distance: 56 miles

Route Map:

Starting Point: Saville Road Bicycle Shop, Delmar, NY

Finishing Point: The Porches, North Adams, MA

Today’s journey will depart from our hometown, roll through downtown Albany and across the Hudson River.  We’ll continue through Averill Park  (Harold’s childhood home) on Rt. 43 and cross the state line into Hancock, MA.  From there, we’ll head North to North Adams, MA along MassParks’ Ashuwilticook Rail Trail with its great views of local lakes and the Mt. Greylock range.

North Adams is a great place to meet us!  You can spend the day exploring the exhibits at MASS MoCA or hiking on nearby trails.

Overnight: The Porches Inn, North Adams


Day 2: The Berkshires to Central Mass

Friday, October 2, 2015

Distance: 41 miles

Route Map:

Optional Route:

Starting Point: Wendell Country Store, Wendell, MA

Finishing Point: Over Easy Cafe, Sterling, MA

There’s an option to start the day directly from North Adams, or drive directly to Wendell Country Store to save the legs.

If starting in North Adams, there’s lots of winding road and rolling hills, plus an 11 mile gradual climb to Wendell.

From Wendell, there’s a nice cruise downhill, then rolling terrain until we reach Princeton.  Rest stops on the Barre Town Common and the Sterling Fire Station are good opportunites to get some snacks and water.

Overnight: Holiday Inn Express, Downtown Worcester


Day 3: Central Mass to “Just Outside Boston”

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Distance: 34 miles

Route Map:

Starting Point: Over Easy Cafe, Sterling, MA

Finishing Point: Concord Visitor Center, Concord, MA

We’ll roll along mostly flat scenery and finish the day along the historic battlefields near Concord, MA.

Overnight: Best Western Concord


Day 4: Bedford to BOSTON

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Distance: 16 miles

Route Map- Bedford:

Route Map – Alewife:

Starting Point: The Minuteman Trail in Bedford, MA OR Alewife T Stop

Finishing Point: The John Jeffries House, Boston, MA – in the heart of Beacon Hill, Corner of Charles Street and Across from the Charles St T Stop on the Red Line

The final day of the ride is a great one for everyone.  Whether you’re a local or visiting from out of town, there are easy ways you can join in the celebration.

You can start at the beginning of the Minuteman Bike path and roll an easy 16 miles into Boston or meet us at the T in Alewife for the final 5 miles.  We’ll use a mixture of bike paths and roads with bike lanes to navigate through Cambridge, across the Charles to our finish at the John Jeffries House parking lot on Cambridge Street.

The Celebration Cycle will end with the 20th Heart-Aversary Party at the Liberty Hotel.  Please be sure to RSVP!


Overnight Lodging:

There are room blocks at the John Jeffries House and the Liberty Hotel. You can call the John Jeffries House to reserve and a link will be coming shortly for the Liberty Hotel.




Save the Date: Celebration Cycle Oct 2-4, 2015

It’s official!  We’ll be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Harold Strope’s heart transplant with a bicycle ride from Albany, NY to Boston, MA.  This is the 200 mile journey he took in an ambulance in 1995 to receive his new heart at Massachusetts General HospitalTri4Dad 011

You can join us for all three days of the ride or just the final spin around Boston.  We’ll also have a post-ride celebration on Sunday, October 4, 2015.

Not a cyclist? No problem!  Just like organ donation and transplantation, we need a community of support to make this celebration happen.  Sign up to volunteer with pre-ride logistics or lend a hand throughout the weekend.

Sign up now!


Cycle for Life – Centurion NY

On June 23, 2012, we joined the NY Center for Donation and Transplant’s team Cycle for Life to participate in the Centurion New York 25 mile ride.  The race kicked off next to Lake George and the Million Dollar Beach with approximately 200 cyclists.  The Organ Donor for Life participants included myself, Harold Strope and Andrew Dudek.  We were supported with great cheering by Miriam Strope, Mona Dudek, Roya Dudek and Cindy and Bridget from CDTNY.

The 25 mile loop took us out of Lake George towards Lake Luzerne.  There were some long gradual climbs to start.  It was smooth sailing until about mile 13.  For what was billed as a race for beginners, the 10% grade on one hill was definitely a challenge.  This short and steep climb was followed on by at least two more climbs that surprised many of the cyclists.  Team Cycle for Life was not the only charity team participating.  There was a large group with Team Challenge for Crohn’s and Colitis disease.  Given people are overcoming serious illnesses and surgeries to participate, the course could have been a little more beginner Harold and Sara Strope finish the Centurion NY 25 mile racefriendly.

That said, we made it through.  As Harold and I cruised back to the Lake Front, we chatted quickly about how to cross the finish line: “high five? hold hands? race?”  Hold hands down the finisher chute!  We crossed the finish line together as the race announcer shared our family’s store and my father’s accomplishment.

And to top everything off, after we crossed the finish line, a number of other racers and supporters stopped by the Cycle for Life tent to inquire about organ donation!

For a new race outside our hometown, this was a good start.  We look forward to growing our presence next year.  And, we look forward to more activities with our new partner – the Center for Donation and Transplant!

View more photos from the race weekend!

Cycle for Life – Saturday, June 23

Saturday, June 23, 2012 Organ Donor for Life will be joining with the New York Center for Donation & Transplant’s Cycle for Life team to participate in the Centurion New York.  The Center for Donation & Transplantation is one of 58 federally designated organ procurement organizations in the US and serves parts of NY, VT and MA.  We will be riding 25 miles through the foothills of the Adirondacks and around Lake George. Some of us will go on to cycle 50 and 100 miles on Sunday!

We’re looking forward to cycling with a group of organ transplant recipients and donor families from our region.  Last summer, I’m pretty certain Harold was the only heart transplant recipient racing in the Pine Bush Triathlon.

Hopefully, this will be just the start of many more partnerships and races in the years ahead.  I’ve already started planning for Harold’s 20th anniversary of his heart transplant in 2015.

First 2012 Cycling Event Selected

I am excited to announce the first official Organ Donor for Life race for 2012.  We will be participating in the Centurion Lake George, New York.  This is a weekend-long cycling event June 22-24, 2012 with options for everyone from beginner cyclist to elite athlete.  We are partnering with Donate Life’s Cycle for Life team to create a team and ride to raise awareness for organ donation.

The weekend kicks off on Friday, June 22nd with a Hill Climb.  Dad and I will be participating in the 25 mile ride on Saturday.  And, I signed up for the 50 mile option on Sunday too.  There is also a 100 mile option on Sunday.  And, for those of you not cycling, you have beautiful Lake George to enjoy!

We are trying to get 50 cyclists to join the overall Cycle for Life team.  Please let me know if you’d like to participate.  I have a registration discount code for you!

Campaign Kickoff – Pine Bush Triathlon

Organ Donor 4 Life Kick Off – Pine Bush Triathlon

On Sunday, July 10, 2011, we officially kicked off the Organ Donor 4 Life campaign at the Pine Bush Triathlon in Albany, NY.  My dad and I participated in the race as a relay team.  I swam, dad cycled and we did the run together. It was a perfect warm sunny day and we were lucky to have a great cheering squad.

The swim and bike ride went by quickly for each of us.  We tackled the run together, with a good mix of walking and jogging. Each time my dad set a target for how far he would run, he ran a little further.  With that mindset and willingness to push himself, I can definitely see my dad conquering a long distance bike ride in the future.  In fact, a celebration ride from Albany to Boston may just be one of the next activities for the campaign.  Quite a difference to be able to even consider cycling 170+ miles when 15 years ago that trip must have seemed like the longest ambulance ride ever.



Be a LifeSaver!

Did you know that only 38% of Americans are organ donors?  And the gap between people in need of organ transplants and the number of available donors gets wider each day?

We certainly don’t make it easy to become a donor in the US.  You can really only register at DMV.  Only a few states allow you to register online.  There’s no national organ donor list. Barely anyone offers education on what it means to be a donor – and what it means to receive an organ.

My father and I are ready to change this.  We are ready to share our story of how an organ donor saved my father’s life 15 years ago.  By participating in his first triathlon on Sunday, July 10, 2011 my Dad wants to show you how fulfilling life post-heart transplant can be.  We want to encourage you to become an organ donor AND join our campaign to increase the organ donation rate across the US.

Sign our pledge to Become a LifeSaver.

Tri for Dad

Tomorrow morning, my father and I are participating in the Capital District YMCA’s Pine Bush Triathlon.  It’s sprint triathlon and we’re doing it together as a relay team: The Stropetastics!

I’ll kick things off with the quick 325 yard swim in Rensselaer Lake.  When I get out of the water, I’ll meet Dad at T1 and hand off the timing chip.  Dad will take off on the 11.5 mile bike ride through Albany.  In the mean time, I’ll drive over to T2 to meet him for the run.  We’ll have a 3.25 mile run through the neighborhood adjacent to the Capital District YMCA.  Then, we’ll cross the finish line together!  Oh, and did I mention that we’ll be wearing our new OrganDonor4Life campaign shirts (thanks Custom Ink!)?

We’ve got all our gear packed for tomorrow.  We even have our race numbers on our arms already. The cheering sqaud is ready (and armed with matching t-shirts too). The alarm is set for 6 am.

I’m excited to kick this campaign off – and share this experience with my Dad!  It’s one thing to pick up triathlons in your sixties…and a whole different story when you’re 15 years post-heart transplant.

Stay tuned for pics and updates on Sunday.