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Bike Ride To Raise Money for a Good Cause

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 2/29/24 | 2/29/24

By Liz Page

SCHOHARIE COUNTY– Floyd Manchester has ridden bicycles his whole life and he and his late wife, Valarie, spent a lot of time taking bike rides for enjoyment and exercise. Now, he asking others to join him to ride for a cause.

Team Valarie, in memory of his late wife, will do a bike ride to raise money for the Marathon for a Better Life in Scholarship County, something that was near and dear to Valerie's heart. 

"It's a family oriented event," said Floyd. "This is the first time doing the bike ride and this will be the first one."

The "Valley Ride for Valarie" will be held May 18th at the Timothy Murphy Pavilion in Middleburgh. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with the ride going off at 9 a.m... Pre-registration is $20 and it is $25 on the day of the race. There will be three separate distances to choose from: 6.4 miles, 16 miles or 23.4 miles. Helmets are required and ebikes are allowed. All kids12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. 

Manchester said he just always rode bikes. He started as a kid and never stopped. "My wife also kept riding." 

DJ Eric Haley will get things started during the registration on May 18 and to start  the ride  off. A live band, Crossfire, will be playing from 1-4 p,m. and  there will be snacks and drinks available in addition to vendors for lunch options.

As he was trying to think of an event to raise money in memory of his wife, who passed from cancer, he decided why not do something they both loved, bike riding. It is something the entire family can do together. 

Team Valerie was formed last January and they were able to raise $12,500 in just six months leading up to the Marathon, which is slated for June 8 at SUNYCobleskill.

He and Valerie used to log about 1,000 miles per year on their bikes in and around their East Worcester home. "We would ride to Cooperstown and bike around the lake. We traveled from Buffalo to Albany along the canal bike trails."

They became involved with the Cancer Society in 1996 when the Marathon began. "My wife used to help the two ladies who started the Marathon for a Better Life," said Manchester.

They hold a 24-hour walk at the SUNY Cobleskill campus,with someone from the team always on the track. Now the activities and events have grown. There is a pickleball tournament and other activities.

"It's always a good time at the college," said Manchester. "My wife was involved as a public health nurse for Schoharie County for 31 years. She didn't benefit from the Marathon, because we are from Otsego County. However, she believed strongly in its purpose, which to provide relief and support to Schoharie County residents battling cancer and encourages solidarity for those who are fighting, those who have fought and their family, friends and neighbors.”

Since it started in 1996, according to the website, the organization has helped more than 1,600 people of all ages who have been battling cancer by providing financial assistance to help with bills.

If you would like to participate in the Valley Ride for Valarie you may register by calling Floyd Manchester at 607-267-2932 or email fmanchester@stny.rr.com.





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