Spokespeople for the Association said that a number of Groton residents are volunteering at Devens and the West Groton pit stop, and eight to 10 are riding.
Groton’s Kirsta Davey is one of the riders. She said: “A bit of info about my investment in the memory ride: I rode last year, specifically to support Beth Faulkner and her father, who is in the moderate stages of Alzheimers. It was a powerful site to see her father at the finish line and Beth yelling to him as she rode by. And my mother-in-law, Marilyn Davey, had early onset Alzhemiers at age sixty and died 10 years later, in 2002. I want to do all that I can to support the research and care with regards to this disease. I will be at the ride on Saturday!”
The Groton Fire Department will station an ambulance and EMTs at the pit stop to ensure that riders are coping well with the heat and to treat any problems. Last year, residents with homes on the route set out their lawn sprinklers to refresh riders as they pedaled by; the forecast for Saturday’s ride is around 90 and humid, so sprinklers may be a welcoming site for riders this year too.
Memory Ride offers a 2-mile “family” ride option, a 30-mile “introductory” route, a “metric century” of 62 miles, and as well as a challenging 100-mile “century” ride.” The Memory Ride traverses towns in north central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. It starts and finishes at Devens, Massachusetts. The ride has become one of the state’s fastest-growing charity events.
Memory Ride benefits the Alzheimer’s Association’s® research efforts into causes, treatments and cures for Alzheimer’s, the degenerative, fatal brain disease that affects 5.4 million Americans. To date, the Memory Ride has raised more than $2.7 million for research.
“Memory Ride not only raises desperately needed money for research, it also builds public awareness about this difficult disease,” said James Wessler, President/CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter. “Alzheimer’s has significant impact on families—emotionally, physically and financially. We are asking communities to step up and get involved.”
The Memory Ride is designed to involve entire families as well as experienced cyclists seeking a challenge. “We want everyone to feel they can get involved, from novices to experienced distance riders,” said Angela Floro of the Alzheimer’s Association. “We hope people bring their family, bring their friends.”
The Association offers training and cycling information for casual riders and serious cyclists. Riders and those who would like to volunteer to help with the event can sign-up at www.memoryride.org . The event includes a post-ride BBQ, exhibitors’ fair and children’s activities.
The Alzheimer’s Association is the nonprofit leader in funding for Alzheimer’s research. The Association also provides education and support to those dealing with the disease, their families and professional caregivers. For more information, visit www.alz.org/MANH or call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7