Tour de Ford 2011

I had the pleasure of participating along with 300 other cyclists in the second annual Tour de Ford bike ride.

Cyclists of all experience levels had the opportunity to tour our city while benefiting the Tom Groth Patient Medical Needs Fund, which provides health care, medication, equipment medical supplies and social services to underinsured patients at Henry Ford.

Participants had the opportunity to ride in their choice of a 70-mile, 35-mile or 10-mile route. You can view a photo slideshow of the event here.

Now no one would confuse me for Lance Armstrong or Greg Lemond, but I did take the training wheels off to make it the 35 miles on an absolutely glorious late summer Michigan day. (I am sure Tom Groth negotiates the weather for us for each of our events.)

Each route started and ended at Henry Ford Hospital, and traveled to a number of our sites throughout Henry Ford Health System — Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital,  Henry Ford Medical Center–Cottage and Henry Ford Medical Center-Fairlane. Riders also got to see a number of Detroit’s landmarks along their routes, such as Eastern Market, The Dequindre Cut and The Heidelberg Project.

As I rode through the Detroit Lions’ tailgaters at Eastern Market and along the River Walk, I felt proud of our organization, our city and all that this event was able to accomplish.

Points along the way were memorable: The Dequindre Cut is a real gem; the homes in Indian Village were magnificent; and all of the people we met along the route were encouraging.

(But I wasn’t sure if the go-kart racer in full Lions gear who was racing around the stalls of Eastern Market was real or a product of an anaerobic hallucination. )

Tour de Ford is the brainchild of Dr. Ronny Otero, division chief of Emergency Medicine at Henry Ford Medical Center-Sterling Heights.  He was greatly supported by many of his colleagues and friends, including Dr. Gerard Martin, and Renee Peck.

What I love about this event is that it is a truly grass roots event, an event that all of our employees and friends can participate as riders or attendees, and supports one of our most important funds.  It is a great balance of fun and charity.

Thanks to all the volunteers, event committee and cyclists who made the ride a success and helped to raise more than $32,000 for the Tom Groth Patient Medical Needs Fund.

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