In September, NEMS jumped on the saddle and hit the road for the 16th Annual Kelly Brush Ride in Middlebury, Vermont. This year's ride was back in-person after going virtual for 2020. The event had 942 total riders with a team of 90 volunteers and over 4,200 donors. Together we helped raise $865,000 for this great foundation.
This year Team NEMS was small, but mighty, raising close to $3,500. The team consisted of Gerry McMahon, Matt Mitsis, Matt Dodge, and Kevin O'Brien. Unfortunately due to a last minute conflict Gerry was unable to make it, but he did manage to raise a lot of money so we greatly appreciate his efforts and we certainly missed him at the event.
The day was picture perfect with comfortable temps and a light breeze. A near perfect setup for our 50 mile adventure. The ride was quintessential Vermont. We rode past wide open fields with rolling hills that seemingly went on for miles. Picturesque farm houses painted the horizon. Every so often we came across a group of cows who either paid no attention to the riders, or just stared at you dumbfounded as you road by. Yes, it was about as Vermont as you can get. We even had the occasional smells to remind us that we were in farm country. It was perfect! :)
The ride took us a little over 3.5 hours to complete with fuel stops. In addition to the great scenery, the ride was also filled with lots of conversation. Topics like business, sports, fighter jets, and of course NEMS were often buzzing around our group. Eventually the fun had to stop as we made it through the finish line at Middlebury College's football stadium. Riders were treated to a fun after-party with a DJ, lunch, an ice cream truck, and a beer tent. Anyone want to guess what our first stop was?
As the day came to an end and we went our separate ways, it was difficult not to feel some sense of excitement and accomplishment for what we had just done. It wasn't the longest or most challenging ride, but it wasn't a layup either. Perhaps what was more impressive is that we were able to put our team together in roughly one day with only four weeks before the event.
The date for next year's event has already been set for Sept. 10th. Team NEMS almost certainly be back in action. It was a fun day spent with fellow race friends, and anyone with interest is encouraged to keep the event in mind for next year.
Till the next one....