08 2 / 2012
2013 LIVESTRONG Texas 4,000 Ride for Cancer
It’s 3:15AM, just finished a paper.
Call me “Butter,” though…
…because I’m on a roll. ツ
Therefore, I’m going to take the time to blog about something way past due; the thing for which this blog was created: Texas 4,000.
Texas 4,000 is a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting cancer by sharing hope, knowledge, and charity. Our main method of accomplishing these three pillars is to ride bikes over 4,500 miles from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska. During our journey, we stop in communities to give programs to schools in an effort to spread cancer awareness and knowledge. We visit cancer patients in hospitals to inspire hope. And we raise money—at least $4,500 per rider, a dollar for every mile we ride—to donate to MD Anderson Cancer Center, who uses it to help those affected by cancer and perform cancer research.
Texas 4,000 was cofounded in 2003 by Chris & Mandy Condit, Abram Weas, Dan Obenour, Carly Sturdivant, Brandon Magsamen, and Adriano Vieira, but the first ride to Alaska didn’t occur until 2004. It was split into two routes: Sierra and Rockies. The Sierra Route unfolded west through New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and Northern California before turning up the coast and into the western provinces of Canada. The Rockies Route advanced north through Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana before crossing into Alberta, British Columbia, and the Yukon. Fourty-three people joined the team in 2004 and each rider was required to raise $3,000, which was donated to the American Cancer Society. Despite the ride taking off in June, the riders didn’t receive their bikes, and thus couldn’t train, until April. Additionally, only 60% of their lodgings throughout the ride were secured; the rest were made en route. The riders successfully made it to Anchorage, though, setting forth the world’s longest annual charity bike ride.
In 2005, the amount of money each rider had to raise grew to $3,500 and riders began giving informational programs. The following year, Texas 4,000 became an official 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and began donating money to MD Anderson Cancer Center in addition to the American Cancer Society. Sense Corp. also signed a five-year sponsorship/partnership with the organization. 2006 was the first year the riders had a campus sendoff and presented the programs in each city along the routes.
In 2007, the amount of money to be raised by each rider jumped once again to $4,500—one dollar per mile. Chris Condit also became the first Executive Director of the organization. After four years of riding to Alaska and raising money for cancer research, Texas 4,000 established an endowed professorship to MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2008.
In 2009, Jack & Adams Bicycles became an official sponsor of the organization and Jamille Ruebsahm replaced Chris Condit as the Executive Director. In 2010, Texas 4,000 formed its largest team to date, consisting of fifty-six riders.
2011 was a big year for Texas 4,000. The organization signed a partnership with LIVESTRONG and donated 94% of the money raised to MD Anderson Cancer Center. Lance Pyburn also became the first Program Director, while the team organized the first Rider Cup Golf Tournament.
Meanwhile, the 2012 team is still leaving their mark on what sure to be a record-breaking year in terms of donations.
2013, though, will be special. Texas 4,000 has grown immensely over the past nine years and, as the 10th Anniversary team, we’ve nearly doubled in size. NINETY-FOUR riders will be pedaling from Austin to Anchorage next year and, to accommodate the growth in numbers, we’ve had to add a third route currently titled “Project Heartland.” Project Heartland currently has two proposed directions: east through Houston and New Orleans, and northeast through Dallas and Little Rock—both of which come together in Memphis and continue on to St. Louis and most likely Chicago.
It’s 4:10AM, only two classes today—neither of which will require much effort.
To say I’m excited for the next year and a half would be like saying the buses here at UT sound like trains—a definite understatement. (Thanks, Phil.) This experience will be one of the funnest things I ever do, but it’s going to be damn tough, though. There will be times where I’ll feel I can’t push anymore and I’m going to be thrown into a sad and unfamiliar world where the effects of cancer are a common occurrence, but I’m going to come out of it a better person and will have undoubtedly made the world a better place for somebody. That’s my goal.
Let’s do it.
26 1 / 2012
Top Chef: Texas
School is back in full swing. Only two weeks into the new semester, I can already tell that it’s going to be my most demanding one yet. My schedule is:
Revenue & Budgeting in Sport
Media & Public Relations in Sport
Rhetoric & Writing (with an emphasis on the education system)
The Age of Mammals
The upside is that I will only have about four exams over the entire semester; the downside is that I will probably write
twenty forty papers by the end of the term. Therefore, blogging probably won’t be my highest priority for a while. In fact, I should probably be studying for a quiz about fossilized dinosaur dung right now instead of writing this.
But something spectacular went down last night that I feel obligated to review—Top Chef: Texas.
In addition to how much I love food and cooking, the chef of one of my favorite restaurants in Austin is competing on the show. Paul Qui, executive chef at Uchiko, has been dominating his competition for the past several weeks and has already accumulated over $35,000 in winnings. Every Wednesday night, Uchiko airs Top Chef inside the restaurant and offers their Sake Social Menu, and so last night I went with a couple friends, Drew and Phil.
It was practically a steal since everything on the social hour menu was priced at $3 and $6. Portion sizes were hardly reduced, either. And it was damn good. Together, we ordered a Shag, Avofry, Ham & Eggs, Yokai Berry, Bacon Sen, Brussels Sprouts, Karaage, and Gyutan Nigiri.
That’s the Gyutan Nigiri. It actually came with two, but I ate one before I could get to the camera on my phone. What do you think that is on top? (If you haven’t already looked at the menu.)
It’s grilled beef tongue. And it was probably my favorite thing I had (I had two orders).
Because it was our first time at Uchiko, they comped us their Fried Milk dessert.
The square mousse represented chocolate milk, the flaky bits and pieces on the right represented toasted milk, the white sherbet represented iced milk, and the croquettes on the left were fried milk. I wish you could buy just an order of the croquettes—they’re crispy on the outside with a warm, gooey, pudding-like inside. Simply stunning.
Paul Qui also won last night’s elimination challenge, earning himself another $10,000. The restaurant erupted when the judges announced him the winner of the episode, which was pretty cool to see that there were so many people behind him. Everyday I will look forward to going back.