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Riding Toward Change

“In some ways the ride mimics a networking event,” remarks Guthinger. “It’s about team building and bringing together members of the nonprofit community. It’s really important that we’re all working together. Everyone is competing for what often feels like the same dollars, but at the same time, there’s lots of opportunities for everyone to get the support they need. It’s not just about fundraising, it’s also about awareness.”

“My efforts are all about making this event as comfortable as possible for the riders. If they’re not rolling, we’re not rolling,” says Guthinger, who is passionate herself about cycling. “My nickname is actually ‘the gasp’ because when I first started training I would huff and puff my way up the hills.” Since those initial rides though, Guthinger has found her balance and become a passionate advocate for all of the health benefits that cycling has to offer. “This past year, an individual with Parkinson’s participated in the ride. What a personal accomplishment! When you start looking at the benefits, you cannot help but be inspired to participate in activities to help your community. So, it all comes full circle. There are so many reasons to ride, you just have to get out and try because I promise, you can do it,” she says. The amazing benefits of a charity bike ride are evident as well—fitness, camaraderie, a sense of accomplishment, fundraising, of course, and making a difference in a community. That’s something everyone can relate to, and The Gasp does an incredible job of giving each of those benefits the appropriate attention in an environment that is inclusive and supportive. “The cycling community in general is one of the most supportive I’ve encountered,” says Guthinger. “It’s a ride, not a race, and that means that it’s all about people supporting one another and having a great day. The only race aspect is from the finish line to the party.”

“My goals for the future of The Gasp have as many moving parts as the event itself,” says Guthinger. “I want this to become a signature fall event, and I would love to see people come from all over to ride and watch. While that’s happening I want to see attendees supporting local organizations so that both sides of our community, the profit and nonprofit, are being supported—at a perfect time of year. And, hopefully those people decide to keep coming back to the Cape during all seasons. I want to see the ride become a driver for the economy in every aspect.”

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