Sunday, June 9, 2013 - 6:21 PM

In my last post, I didn't get to Friday...the highlight of our little get away. To start with, we arrived at Taughannock Falls....

...spaectacular in its own right...

...but on Friday, something else rendered it into the we approached, there was a group of cyclists taking a lot of photos and then...suddenly we saw their vehicle...


We struck up a conversation with a couple of the riders and learned that their misson, through a group called 4k for cancer, is to ride 4000 miles from Baltimore to Seattle to raise awareness of cancer in young adults. We shared our story of Bret, gave the address for his blog,  and expressed our appreciation for what they were doing. One rider, Bradley Allen, mentioned that they would be in Rochester Saturday night! Could this be a coincidence? He invited us to join the group for the "Morning Circle" on Sunday  before they leave for the next leg of their trip. He mentioned that he would ride for Bret on Sunday. We were totally amazed and honored...


Before heading out,  we followed the trail leading to the Falls from the base and enjoyed a beautiful walk in the misty weather...but the spectacular majesty of the falls did not even come close to the enormity of emotion we felt from meeting the cyclists.


Returning home, I contacted Mary Ann Zutes, who lost her son, Chris, just three weeks ago. Chris and Bret had the same rare cancer at the same time. Bret blogged about Chris and Mary Ann on May 7, 2011 in his post titled Finding a common thread. I knew she would be as thrilled as we were to meet these amazing young adults. We met early Sunday morning and headed to Pitsford where the parents of Bethany, one of the riders, were hosting all 28 cyclists.

Everyone was eating breakfast and preparing for the ride...On closer look I was shocked to see that not only was Bradley riding for Bret...but everywhere I looked were arms and legs sporting his name!

Then it was time for the circle...

One by one, each of these heros shared what had made them choose to make this commitment...who their trip was for...and who they would be riding for that day. Mary Ann and I were moved beyond words to hear our sons names mentioned over and over...


At the completion of the circle,  I passed out Bret's wristbands. It seemed so appropriate that they each have one with his motto, "Ride in a good direction! " Bradley Allen surprised and honored me with the gift of his alumni wristband which he received for being on his second cross-country trip with 4K For Cancer. He also announced that he would be riding for Bret for the rest of the entire trip.

Soon it was time to head out. The group broke up into teams of four and headed out one by one.

After the last rider went down the driveway, we, too, headed out. Mary Ann suggested that we take a route that would bring us past the riders. I was so grateful for her convertible because I was able to get a few more shots...

When we reached Jefferson Road, they got in the left lane, turned and road away.

Just like their Moms, we worried about them and will continue to pray for their safety.

To Bradley and every rider in 4K For Cancer,

our entire family thanks you from the bottom of our hearts.








September 13, 2014 - 2:19 AM
Kris Palmer
October 23, 2013 - 2:52 AM

Thanks for sharing your wonderful inspiring story and photos, Betsy. It melts my heart.The young dedicated riders are amazing people, riding so far for the 4K for cancer! Bret steered them to "ride in your good direction," that wonderful day. Thrilling for you and your family, Bret's light shines on.

October 2, 2014 - 12:30 AM
November 4, 2014 - 4:42 AM
May 28, 2014 - 11:32 PM
May 20, 2015 - 4:59 PM
March 24, 2014 - 8:29 AM
June 30, 2013 - 3:14 PM

Beautiful, Betsy... Keeping Bret's memory alive, always... not just in our thoughts, but also seeing Bret's name scrawled over those athelte's legs as they ride in a good direction!

Billie Hendley
June 19, 2013 - 8:36 AM

Truly amazing...

June 13, 2013 - 4:03 AM

Not in this realm! 

June 13, 2013 - 3:30 AM

An ongoing tribute to Bret and others who valiantly fought their battles with cancer. A phenomenal group of young men and women. How fortunate you met them...or was it already pre-determined???

Aaron Hoefen
June 11, 2013 - 7:01 PM

What an amazing group sacrificing for a very personal cause!  It means so much to see Bret's photo in the group.  Really makes it hit home.  It really makes me happy to hear that he will be riding Bret's cross country reunion tour on a bicycle in his name!  You are a special person Bradley Allen!  Thank you for honoring my Brother!

Ride in a Good Direction 4K for Cancer!!!!  Be safe!!!!


Suzi zefting-Kuhn
June 10, 2013 - 7:28 PM

You were meant to be a part of all of that Betsy. How very special for you. To add to the irony I just saw on the Hope Lodge Facebook page that members of that same group had cooked dinner for those staying at Hope Lodge. My group , The Main Street Artists, also go to Hope Lodge once a month to  cook dinner! It is a fabulous facility. 

Sally Leeson
June 10, 2013 - 6:12 PM

Yes, indeed, an incredible blessing for all involved.

Thanks for the free eyewash!

Mary Lee
June 10, 2013 - 5:52 PM

Amazing!  What a gift ... and a blessing that they have Bret's wristbands on and they ride for young adult cancer.  A touch from God for you.

July 8, 2014 - 6:16 AM
July 30, 2014 - 6:48 AM
July 23, 2014 - 6:44 PM
April 15, 2014 - 9:18 PM
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