‘We’re more than just a team, we’re a family’
Although they may not be able to find a cure themselves, this family of cyclists rides miles on their bikes to help fund research for cancer, epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and heart disease.
Cycle for Cures, or C4C, is a cycling group composed of nearly 30 members ranging from age 14 to around 70 years old who have all been affected in one way or another by one of the causes for which they’re raising funds.
Ed and Jordan Barros are father and son members on the team who suffered the loss of six family members from cancer over the past few years. Other members on the team are cancer survivors or are battling disease while participating in these 25- to 100-mile rides.
Jordan, 14, said although he doesn’t have any friends his age in the cycling group, the people he rides with have grown to be an extension of his family as well as a support system that pushes him to new heights.
“Everyone cheers each other on,” said Jordan.
He recalls his teammates being a key component in his being able to complete his first 50-mile ride.
“I usually stop at 25 miles. At mile 40 I was done,” said Jordan. “But everyone else kept pushing me and telling me that I was almost there. They helped me get through it and I ended up doing it.”
Jordan and his father, Ed, said the feeling of completing one of their rides is that much more fulfilling because they’re doing it for loved ones they lost to cancer. The loss of Ed’s brother and Jordan’s uncle, Antonio, inspired Ed to finish a race even with tornado warnings and heavy rain.
Jordan also plays soccer and said his practice regimen for both sports benefits his performance overall.
“Running out on the field helps me with my stamina on the bike and riding the bike helps me with my stamina on the field,” said Jordan.
The rides are physically demanding, said Jordan. They require a significant amount of training. Practice rides range anywhere from 25 to 50 miles long and occur several times a week. Ed said he currently is trying to ride more than 60 miles a day, but it can get tough to find other members to ride with because of the temperatures dropping.
Ed also has a younger son named Alex who is 7 years old and has epilepsy. He, too, shares the love for riding bikes, despite some of the challenges that come along with the disorder.
He has a limited amount of speech, but he cheerfully said he enjoys riding his red three-wheeled bike with his father.
Ed said he especially loves going on short rides with Alex because the odds were against him from the time he was diagnosed at 18 months old.
“The doctor told me that he would never be able to swim or ride a bike,” said Ed. “These are the last things any parent wants to hear, but it makes me happy to see him proving those predictions wrong.”
Ed said he finds that the group gains new supporters at the most random times.
“There’s been several occasions where we will be riding and we stop to talk with someone and they want to know how they can make donations,” said Ed.
C4C is a “family” that somehow came together and collectively defies what doctors have deemed impossible.
Those interested in donating to the team’s next ride, in May, may visit http://www.barrosian.com/C4C.html.