Well, the big ride is tomorrow. Five boroughs, forty-one miles, one wheel. I’ve spent the past week carbo-loading, eating as much food as I can fit into my mouth at once. I’ve never eaten this much before, and I still haven’t gained any weight.
In the mean time, Maggie got a little bit of coverage recently on FreeWilliamsburg.com. Here’s a little excerpt:
Kyle will be riding for Maggie Russo, a wonderful little 2-year-old girl who developed retinoblastoma, “a form of eye cancer that effects about 300 kids in the United States every year and only 5,000 kids worldwide,” and had to have her left eye removed. She will soon be fitted for a prosthetic eye, and hopefully, one day, get surgery to give her a “more lifelike implant.”
As always, please visit http://maggiesfund.net/ or send donations directly to:
Jennifer Wolff, Esq. (custodian for Maggie’s fund)
240 E. 86th Street
New York, NY 10028
(All checks must be payable to Meghan Russo)
The Five Borough Bike Tour is on Sunday. I’m a little nervous but I’m more excited. Last Sunday, I rode 38 miles in a final tune-up for the big ride. Now I know that physically, I’m prepared. I just have to hope I don’t get injured or that my unicycle breaks down.
My original intention in setting up Unicycle4Maggie was to raise money for Maggie’s family and/or for retinoblastoma research. So far, I haven’t been able to do that. However, I am confident that my ride will get a decent amount of attention, and thus raise awareness of retinoblastoma and childhood cancers in general.
Regardless of the outcome, the Five Borough Bike Tour is the beginning, not the end, of Unicycle4Maggie. In the coming months, I will think of new ways to use my passion for mono-wheeling to raise awareness of Maggie’s plight and the struggle of other children battling childhood cancers.
As always, please visit http://maggiesfund.net/ to find out how you can help.
My name is Kyle Petersen, and I am a professional juggler and circus variety performer. I’m also a passionate unicycle enthusiast. This year, I decided to participate in New York City Five Borough Bike Tour on unicycle, a daunting 41 mile trek.
But I’m not doing this for me, I’m riding for little Maggie Russo, a close family friend who developed retinoblastoma (a cancer of the retina) at age two. I plan to maintain this blog as a way to spread awareness of retinoblastoma and other childhood cancers, and to raise money for research and treatment. In the coming days I will post more information on how you can help, but for now, please visit http://maggiesfund.net/
To read more about Maggie’s story, click here.
I am currently training for the big ride. I’ve never ridden longer than 30 miles, but I feel comfortable that I’ll be up to the task of riding 41 miles, from Manhattan, up to the Bronx, across the Queensboro Bridge, down through Brooklyn, and over the Verrazano, into Maggie’s hometown of Staten Island. I’ve been going on almost daily cruises through Prospect Park in order to get my strength and endurance up. I’ve also been an active participant in the Unicycle NYC Bridge Tour. Yesterday I rode with my little brother and two close friends to Coney Island, which brought back a lot of good memories.
Earlier today, I met with Mary Beth and Mike Russo, Maggie’s mother and father, along with her older brother, Michael. Together we discussed strategies for using my ride to create awareness. Though we’re still hammering out some of the details, I’d like to thank the Russos for giving me such a unique opportunity to do something positive in the world.
Today, I’m planning on riding in my beloved Prospect Park once again. If you happen to see a redheaded man riding a unicycle, please stop him and ask how you can get involved!