About Us and Bike for the Cure

Venture to Vegas is the 14th ride for HD; prior rides include two coast-to-cost rides. Bike for the Cure ’99 and Bike for the Cure 2000 , Border War on HD (Vancouver, BC, Canada – Tijuana, Mexico), Ramble ‘Round the Colonies (Manchester, NH – Columbus, OH), Trek Across Texas (Texline – Houston), Kick HD on Route 66 (Albuquerque, NM – St. Louis, MO), Coastin’ for HD (Wilmington, DE – Atlanta, GA), Midwest Meander for HD (Kearney, NE – Milwaukee, WI / Chicago, IL – St. Louis, MO), Rockies to Plains (Grand Junction, CO – Oklahoma City, OK), Cycle the Heartland (Clinton, MO – Pittsburgh, PA), Canyons to Cactus (Grand Junction, CO – Phoenix, AZ), Coastin’ to Carolina (Bar Harbor, ME – Raleigh, NC) and Plains to Lakes (Belle Fourche, SD – Minneapolis, MN). Over 20,000 miles have been pedaled through parts of 45 states and Washington DC. Our fundraising goal is $35,000 to bring the total raised to $560,000, and to add another state (Nevada) to our total.

Ride History and Rider Profiles

Marie Nemec

In 1997, Marie became aware of HD through meeting Carmen Leal, author of Faces of Huntington’s, on the Christian Writer’s Group list on the Internet. In June 1998, at Carmen’s invitation, Marie attended the 13th Annual HDSA Convention in Denver, CO. After this experience, she was deeply touched. Her Christian faith required action; “... let us not love with word or with tongue but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18). Marie and Charlotte met through a mutual friend, and the trio rode across America together in 1999. Arrival at the National Convention has become an annual rite. Charlotte will be riding #13 this year, and Marie will primarily drive the SAG van

Marie Nemec
3087 - A ½ Road
Grand Junction, CO 81503-9678
(970) 250-5997

Charlotte Reicks

I first learned about and began bicycling for families with Huntington's Disease in 1999 when Marie Nemec joined me and a friend for our first coast-to-coast ride from Pacific Ocean to Atlantic Ocean (3000 miles). It was Marie's plan to pass out information and collect donations for HD while my friend and I planned to bicycle for The American Bible Society, passing out literature. Only 2 days into the ride, these two causes became combined for me with an unforgettable meeting with a woman in California who had HD. She could not eat or speak and was confined to a wheelchair. It was then I realized the enormity and devastation of HD AND It was at that moment that my ride also became a ride for HD, and to my great surprise, I learned from Marie that we had HD families in Grand Junction. At that time, a new HD Support Group was beginning in Grand Junction and I became involved. That first ride across America was memorable for meeting other HD families along the way, experiencing the surprising generosity of people handing us donations, and for encountering churches of all denominations who took us in overnight. That ride was doubly difficult for we carried all our gear on our bicycles, up and down all kinds of terrain, in all kinds of weather, but such a blessing from God. Little did we know that although this was our first bicycle ride for HD and I thought our last, God had more planned for us!

SO HERE WE ARE, ONLY BY THE GRACE OF GOD, PLANNING MY 13TH BICYCLING RIDE FOR HD FAMILIES. He has put us in all areas of the US with our destination always the site of the Convention, this year in Las Vegas, NV. We have handed out thousands of flyers about HD across the US, collected thousands of dollars, by His plan, from generous Americans. The blessings to me personally have been immeasurable. First, having a specific mission to serve others is immense, the friendships formed over those years with HD families all over the United States and in Grand Junction is immense, and the privilege of bicycling all over the US, seeing the beauty of God's creation and the goodness of God's people is immense.

On a more personal note:

My cross country bicycling adventures began in 1992 when a friend suggested we bicycle across Colorado from Utah to Kansas. I gasped! It was a life-changing experience to learn I could bicycle across a state and over the Continental Divide! I could go anywhere! After that, each year I bicycled a 5-6 day ride (400 miles average) in Colorado for various charities--Make A Wish, Habitat for Humanity--then came the life-changing first coast-to-coast bicycle ride in 1999 for HD, SO THIS YEAR IS MY 20TH YEAR OF CROSS COUNTRY BICYCLING FOR A CHARITY.

My family continues to be my support and my rock, although they were very concerned in 1999 about our safety (as was I). In all these 13 years we have never been threatened, only offered help by fellow Americans in over 40 states! My family has become more at ease with my annual cross country bicycle trip. They include my oldest son who is a CPA, my youngest son who is a doctor, and his wife, Anita. They live in Grand Junction, so I am blessed to see my 3 grandchildren grow up. My two granddaughters are college graduates and my grandson is a sophomore in college.

I grew up on a farm near Amherst, Nebraska (population 200) in the Kearney, Nebraska area. We did not have running water or electricity and farmed with horses. My husband and I came from Nebraska to Grand Junction, Colorado, via Hartland, Michigan as teachers. I taught at Grand Junction High School and Mesa College (now Colorado Mesa University). My husband taught in Fruita, Colorado, then became a realtor and has passed away. Upon leaving teaching, after 25 years, I was a legal secretary for 5 years. For the past 20 years and currently, I am a medical transcriptionist for pediatricians, family practice doctors, and rheumatologists, transcribing via computer in my home. And I will be 77 in July 2012.

Charlotte Reicks
406 Ridges Blvd. #22
Grand Junction, CO 81507
(970) 245-7491

Gary Heiman

This is Gary Heiman’s second ride for HD (first one in 2011). He is the husband of Barb Heiman, social worker with the HDSA Central Ohio Chapter and the Ohio State University Center of Excellence. Gary has ridden the Great Ohio Biking Adventure (GOBA) eleven times, and is an experienced rider who logs 2000 miles a year in West Central Ohio. Glad you’re on board, Gary!

Gary Heiman
1060 Olmstead Road
West Jefferson, OH 43162
(614) 879-9069

Sherri Kole

Sherri Kole returns as a rider after a five year hiatus. She first joined Charlotte and Marie on the KATY Trail portion of the ride in 2004. She has a special reason to ride. Her 38 year old son tested positive for the HD gene in 2005. She also has a 3 year old “at-risk” grandson. Sherri has completed the two day “STP Classic” from Seattle WA to Portland OR three times. She rode the last 2/3 of the "Midwest Meander" as well as "Rockies to Plains". Welcome back Sherri!

Sherri Kole
1519 Alder Drive
Lewiston, ID 83501
(208) 305-4928

Prior Rides:

Support - Bike for the Cure 2012
Daily Message - Bike for the Cure 2012
Gallery - Bike for the Cure 2012