WILLISTON, N.D. - Once again, Dr. Kyle Norris, Associate Professor of Music at Williston State College, is taking his passion for cycling to the next level by competing in the Great Cycle Challenge (GCC).
Started in 2015, the GCC is a fundraiser that benefits the Children's Cancer Research Fund. Anyone can participate in this nationwide challenge and can sign up either as an individual or with a team of riders. Riders can pledge to ride 10 miles while some serious bikers may ride 1,000.
"Due to current events, the GCC has been moved from June to September 2020," explained Dr. Norris. "This will be a busy month with school starting at the end of August but I'm hoping to raise $1,250 and get as many miles as possible."
Last year, Dr. Norris rounded out his month-long cycle journey with a total of 585.5 miles and raised $937.05.
Because of his high miles and fundraised dollars, Dr. Norris was chosen to be a GCC Champion this year.
Roughly 750 GCC Champions were chosen from across the United States and they serve as representatives for the GCC areas where they live.
"I'm thrilled to be a part of this group," stated Dr. Norris.
As with last year, Dr. Norris bikes on an indoor trainer and uses a program called Zwift when the weather does not cooperate. Zwift is an online cycling videogame and physical training program that enables users to interact, train, and compete in a virtual world. Participants can ride with people from around the world and participate in group rides, structured training, races, and tour events.
"There have been a number of events on Zwift that are benefiting health service workers throughout the world," explained Dr. Norris. "These have been hosted by different professional cycling teams like Israel Start Up Nation (ISN) and British Team Ineos."
ISN hosts group rides on Saturday mornings and for every person that finishes, the group donates a KN95 mask to hospitals or nursing homes. As of two weekends ago, ISN has donated over 5,000 masks.
Geraint Thomas, 2018 Tour de France winner, from Team Ineos also did a 3-day event where he logged a daily 12-hour ride to mimic the shift length of some of the healthcare workers in Wales. Riders joined Geraint for two-hour sessions during these three days and over $436,000 was raised for the National Health Service of England.
"I completed two rides with ISN and a 2-hour session with Geraint," said Dr. Norris. "Having the pro-cycling teams shift their focus from their normal season calendar and finding ways to help is wonderful to see and it's nice to be able to join them, ride, and give back in a small way."
With the change in weather, Dr. Norris takes his rides outside on a Tommaso Imola road bike and cycles and around Williston from the bike path alongside East Dakota Parkway to the hills on the West side of town.
If interested in supporting Dr. Norris in his goal and tracking his progress, please visit his rider page at: www.greatcyclechallenge.com/Riders/KyleNorris.
Donations are not set per mile; rather, anyone who wants to donate can pledge a flat amount through a rider's page. There are suggested donation amounts as well as the option to enter a specific amount. Individuals and organizations can pledge funds and supporters can choose to remain anonymous.
For more information on the Great Cycle Challenge, please contact Dr. Kyle Norris, Associate Professor of Music, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please visit www.willistonstate.edu, call 701.774.4200, or stop by 1410 University Avenue, Williston, ND.