In just over three years since Nona Cycle was founded by Lake Nona residents Paul Pikel and Spencer Phelps, we have not only grown in size but in our reputation as the premier cycling group in the Metro Orlando area.
Comprised of a diverse group of individuals of all ages and demographics from Lake Nona and beyond with varied skill levels and talents, we are bonded by our love of the sport of cycling. Our weekly rides range from a social pace for those new to road cycling to faster rides for cyclists with a need for speed. Regardless of the distance or pace, our rides are about comradery, safety and fellowship, concluding with coffee and conversation at the local Starbucks and often moving to Nona Adventure Park with conversation continuing into the afternoon.
What truly makes Nona Cycle unique is our commitment to participating in charity cycling events; in three short years, members of Nona Cycle have raised more than $150,000 for local and national charities, including breast cancer awareness (Winter Garden Wheel Works’ “Think Pink” Ride), Ronald McDonald House Charities (Ride for Ronald), and American Diabetes Association (Tour de Cure).
Last month, Nona Cycle members were out in force supporting the “Think Pink” ride in Winter Garden on Oct. 12 followed by Ride for Ronald here in Lake Nona the next day. Many members participated in both rides, logging more than 100 miles in the saddle – all for a good cause.
This year marked the 10-year anniversary of Ride for Ronald with fundraising proceeds benefiting more than 2,600 families that will be housed at the three local Ronald McDonald Houses over the coming year, while their child is hospitalized with a critical illness.
Ride for Ronald participants pay a registration fee but are also required to raise a minimum amount in donations in order to attend the event. More than 45 Nona Cycle members who participated this year raised more than $8,799, bringing our three-year total support of Ronald McDonald House Charities to $27,060. A fundraising event held in partnership with Drive Shack raised additional funds; however, the majority of contributions come from our members seeking support from friends, family and co-workers.
On Saturday, Oct. 13, as we gathered to prepare our bikes, share some laughs, and take countless photos, a picture-perfect day dawned over Lake Nona Town Center. Nona Cycle led the way in to St. Cloud, Kissimmee, surrounding neighborhoods and back to Town Center – for many, a total of 60 miles. We celebrated our fundraising and cycling success in Boxi Park with more fellowship, food and an adult beverage or two … with talk turning to our upcoming signature fundraising event, American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure (March 29, 2020).
American Diabetes Association chapters around the country hold Tour de Cure events; however, the Lake Nona event took top honors this year raising more than $1 million. Over the past four years, Nona Cycle raised a total of $119,600 – $6,250 raised in 2016, $22,850 in 2017, $44,000 raised in 2018, and a record $46,500 raised in 2019. Our fundraising goal for the 2020 Lake Nona Tour de Cure is $50,000.
Those of you who follow this column already know that Nona Cycle is more than a group of people in spandex and matching jerseys riding around your neighborhood; we are caring, compassionate individuals committed to making our community and beyond a better place by using our passion for cycling to help those less fortunate. If you know a Nona Cycle member, consider a financial contribution in support of Tour de Cure, or if you’d like to cycle with us, you can become a member via our Facebook page.
Remember – Share the Road!