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Biking for a Cause

Phoenix Bikes on the rise

From left: Constance O’Hearn, Jessica Mott, Keith Oberg

From left: Constance O’Hearn, Jessica Mott, Keith Oberg Photo by Michael McMorrow.

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From left: Ever Franco, Libby Garvey, Agustin Argueta

“Years from now, you will be able to say ‘I rode in the very first event.’ Your contribution to this wonderful organization is something to remember, always.”

With these words, Libby Garvey started the first wave of riders in the inaugural Kennan Garvey Memorial Ride. They would pedal 100 miles round-trip between Arlington and Purcellville, the entire length of the Washington & Old Dominion Bike Trail. Others choose abbreviated distances of 32 and 60 miles.

Garvey, a member of the Arlington County Board, is an avid cyclist. So was her now deceased husband, Kennan, for whom the ride is a memorial. Years ago, the couple followed the same trail, only not in a single day; they spent overnight in Purcellville.

Garvey clearly recalls the trek because it was the weekend U. S. Sen. (and Yorktown High School graduate) Paul Wellstone (Minn.) died in an airplane crash. Her memories mix the bitter and the sweet.

When asked, Garvey explained that she could not participate in this very special event due to an injury recently suffered in — a bike accident.

The Memorial Ride has two objectives: Draw attention to the Phoenix Bike program and raise funds for an expanded facility to serve more youngsters. The organization sees the bicycyle as an additional kind of vehicle — a means of providing “a fun, safe, and challenging environment for local youth through building and running a great community bike shop.” For more details, see www.phoenixbikes.org.