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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.
For Mark Griffith, gently riding a bike along roads shadowed by giant red cliffs or atop deep canyons is a spiritual experience of sorts. The consistent pumping of heart and legs combined with the grandeur of nature gives Mark a profound sense of purpose. That's why for the past four years Mark has been inviting cyclists from all over to participate in the Moab Skinny Tire Festival and hopefully feel the same sensation as they ride to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Mark's involvement with the tire festival started several years ago after he lost his older brother to cancer. The event left Mark and his family with feelings of frustration and desires to make a difference in the fight against cancer. Rather than simply write a check to an organization, Mark chose to become actively involved in the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a group founded by the world-renowned cyclist and cancer survivor.
Mark joined the foundation as a Peloton Project Member. A Peloton in the world of cycling describes the lead group of riders in a race. Much the same way Peloton members in a race feed off of one another's drafts, Peloton Project Members in the Lance Armstrong Foundation work together to raise money for cancer research, support groups and survivor education programs.
Since the festival's debut, the number of participants continues to grow. This year the festival will be limited to 1,000 cyclists, ensuring a quality riding experience for all. The festival starts on March 5 and lasts four days. Each day the cyclists start in Moab and ride asphalt roads to a different scenic location. To enter, riders must raise a minimum of $150 prior to the race. Amenities include multiple aid stations complete with food, roaming bicyclist mechanics, a sag wagon for tired riders and prizes for top fundraisers like a trip to Austin, Texas for the 2004 Lance Armstrong Ride for the Roses Tour. Festival activities include a silent auction also open to non-riders and locals interested in bidding on exciting items. Those interested in joining Mark can visit the Festival's Web site at www.skinnytirefestival.com.
For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.