Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Second Annual SWAN Century Ride

Are you a cyclist? If not, do you know a cyclist? My blog today is about a Century Ride and I hope you’ll let all your cycling friends know about it.

For the uninitiated (which was me, last year), a Century Ride is an organized, 100-mile bike ride. It’s not a race, but participants register, pay an entrance fee, and wear numbers. Many times, these rides are fund-raising events for charity.

I’m going to tell you about a Century Ride that’s happening June 5th. But first, I’m going to tell you about the charity that will benefit from the ride.

If you’re a follower of my blog, you know my favorite charity is SWAN. SWAN stands for Serving Women Across Nations, and it’s a non-profit humanitarian outreach organization that brings tools of change to impoverished women and children in Kenya and Bolivia. Microcredit is one of the tools SWAN uses. Small-business training and microcredit (small loans) are provided to poor women to enable them to start up or grow a small business to earn money to provide for their families.

SWAN sponsors the ride in connection with Sedro Woolley’s Blast From the Past town celebration. Sedro Woolley is a Norman Rockwellish, small town set alongside the Skagit River in northwest Washington State.

The SWAN Century encompasses a mile century as well as a metric century (62 miles), and a family fun ride that’s 13 miles long. The metric century follows the Skagit River east, crosses it, and follows it back west to the lunch stop. Those going on for the mile century then ride out to Padilla Bay, a part of Puget Sound.

Last year was the first annual Swan Century, and I was in charge of lunches for cyclists. The riders were enthusiastic in their comments when they rolled in. They thought the scenery was gorgeous, and they said the course was well laid out, and it was all very well organized. And they liked the food, too. There were home-made Monster Cookies (the one with M&M’s in them) at the rest stops, and for lunch we served meatball sandwiches, a huge green salad with avocado dressing, and carrot cake.

We’ve already heard from several of last year’s participants saying they’re coming back this year and bringing friends. One of the returnees is coming from Central California.

We had 90 participants last year. With those 90 participants, SWAN was able to fund eight microloans. It’s interesting that one of the recipients of those microloans was a Bolivian woman who has a bicycle repair shop.

Her name is Justa, and her loan enabled her to buy an inventory of repair parts so she didn’t have to take time away from fixing bikes to run to the store and buy the part she needed right then. Justa paid off that loan and has taken out a second one that will let her buy bicycles in kits that she can then put together and sell.

We’re hoping to double the number of riders this year. If you’re not a hard core, 100-miles-at-a-time rider, then consider the family fun ride. It’s for a good cause, and your heart will thank you, not only for the cardio-vascular workout, but for the good feeling deep down that comes from helping someone less fortunate than you.

So, save the date. It’s June 5th, 2010. Tell your friends. Maybe get a team together at work. If you’re not into cycling, you can help spread the word. Send some emails. Post the logo on your blog with a link to the web site, which is at .

And, if you come, let me know you heard about it on my blog at lunch time. I’ll make sure you get an extra meatball on your sandwich.

Follow this blog! I've got a dandy kettle-cornish popcorn recipe to share. My husband, Derrill, was gone for a few days, and one night that's what I made for dinner. I ate the whole thing, and I thought, I need to share this with my followers. And, I still have to do the healthy fried egg post. So, stay tuned.


Kim said...

Love this post!! :) I just love the thought of people empowering people and how cool it is how even our same intersts in cycling helps others with the same interests and talents! 3 cheers for SWAN and every other "pay it forward" organization.

Heidiwriter said...

Wonderful! Sounds like a fun event for a great cause! Good for you.

Monique said...

I'll blog about this too. And I'll get a post on Facebook going as well. Hopefully we're all well enough to make it out this year. I just realized....I don't have a bike. I'm the only one in the family (except my 6 month old) that doesn't have bike! Hmmmmmmm

Rachel Andersen said...

I love this idea. Fun, exercise and serving others all together. Great Post.

Liz Adair said...

Thanks, Kim, Heidi and Monique for your comments. I appreciate your willingness to pass the word along.

Monique--if you weren't so darn short, I'd loan you my bike. Hmmm. Maybe if we put the seat waaaay down?

Liz Adair said...

Thanks for your comment. If you know any cyclists, pass the word along!

Tanya Parker Mills said...

What if you can't make it to the event, but want to contribute money anyway?

Liz Adair said...

Great question, Tanya. Go to At the top of the page on the left hand side, there's a link (click here to donate) where you can make a tax deductible donation to SWAN. 100% of donations go directly to women and children in the countries served.