There are occasions in everyone’s life where everything is so positive you don’t want the moment to end. Your team wins the championship, graduation, a great concert or unforgettable party. As a Yankee fan I’ve had my share. As a Bruce Springsteen fanatic, every show is like that. As a triathlete, little compares with the feeling of accomplishment at the end of a race. Hopefully you have had plenty of your own. Two weekends ago I had that feeling in a whole new context.

The Bresnan Bike Tour is a three day, 200 mile charity bicycle ride from Putnam County, New York to Bennington, Vermont. We left Friday morning and rode in the rain for about 12 miles. Going through Northwest Connecticut it cleared and we had great weather going into the Berkshires and up into Vermont. In addition to the beautiful riding and great scenery, I got to know many of the 65 other riders as we rode and ate together. Surprisingly, not everyone was a dedicated cyclist. More surprisingly, although 12 others were, like me, on the ride for the first time, most people had done this many times. Multiple awards were given at Friday’s dinner for 5, 10 and 15 years’ participation, and one guy received a 20 year award—meaning he has been on every ride! Participants came from as far away as Utah and even the UK.

The money we raise in order to ride goes directly to Special Olympics New York, and to the Westchester ARC, benefitting the developmentally disabled. The veteran riders had strong feelings for the cause and the Tour. Their enthusiasm and dedication was palpable and infectious and immediately felt by the “newbies.” It made the long climbs and one intolerable stretch of road under construction bearable if not pleasant.

Our little stories and inside jokes don’t mean much to anyone else. But it was truly an unforgettable weekend and it definitely won’t be my last Bresnan. Although I ride my bike as much as I can and I help the disabled every day in my practice, this is different. It’s not about clients and it’s not about miles. Put the two together and you get something entirely different: a cause!

Lew Insler