About Us

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. Marie, the only 15 year ride veteran, will primarily drive the SAG van.

On a more personal note:

During the first ride, both Charlotte and Evelyn became known as the BG’s (Bicycling Grandmas) but I did not qualify at that time. However, on Canada Day, (July 1) 2008 Jett Ronald Nemec was born, qualifying me for this special nickname. And on June 13, 2010 during the "Caostin' to Carolina" ride, Jett became a big brother to Cael Stanley Nemec. See our photo pages for photos.! These two little boys are the joy of our lives, and we love spending time with them whenever possible (they live in Steamboat Springs, CO., about 200 miles from Grand Junction.)

I was raised primarily in Southern California except for 3 ½ years in Arlington VA (1955-1958). Athletic in my youth, playing softball, and in high school volleyball (played two years on teams with Kathy Gregory, legendary coach of the UC Santa Barbara Women’s team), basketball, and softball. I was one of 3 young women in my class to earn highest athletic honors. In 2011 I returned to Hollywood to celebrate my 50th high school reunion.

We moved to Western Colorado in the summer of 1977.

Ron and I recently celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary. Ron has always been "the wind beneath my wings," with his computer support and encouragement enabling me to pursue my calling to raise funds and awareness for HD research and family services.

We have been blessed with two sons, Kevin and Justin. Since 2005, Kevin has been married to Erin Simmons, a former Olympian (Torino 2006) and professional snowboarder. Kevin is self-employed (www.cactofab.com) and Justin has had a career in Apparel Design and Merchandising.

We are active in our local church (Living Hope Evangelical Free Church.) Marie is part of the leadership team in the local "Explorer’s Bible Study" (www.explorerbiblestudy.org) We both work part time doing delivery work to supplement our Social Security. As noted earlier, my primary motivation for doing the "Bike for the Cure" rides comes from my Christian faith.

My main hobby now is quilting. I helped make all three of the Hunt-Dis Memorial Quilts. I also enjoy living on a 3 1/2 acre mini-farm, raising Nubian goats and Holstein steers.

I am a leader in an "Explorer’s Bible Study" group here in Grand Junction (www.explorerbiblestudy.org) and,

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 14TH 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 Jacksonville, FL. 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 21st 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 14 years we have never been threatened, only offered help by fellow Americans in over 41 states! My family has become more at ease with my annual cross country bicycle trip. They include my older son who is a CPA, my younger 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 junior 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 21 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 78 in July 2013.

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

Gary Heiman

This is Gary Heiman’s third ride for HD (first 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 again, Gary!

Gary Heiman
1060 Olmstead Road
West Jefferson, OH 43162

Sherri Kole

Sherri Kole returns for a fifth time. She first joined Charlotte and Marie on the KATY Trail portion of the ride in 2004. She has two special reasons to ride. Her 39 year old son tested positive for the HD gene in 2005, and is now symptomatic. She also has a 4 year old “at-risk” grandson. Sherri has completed the 2-day “STP Classic” from Seattle WA to Portland OR 3 times. She rode the last 2/3 of the Midwest Meander, Rockies to Plains, and half of Venture to Vegas. She has organized a pig roast fundraiser in Lewiston ID 6 times, with another planned for May 2013. These events have raised close to $100,000 for HD research and family services.

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

This year we are blessed to have four riders new to “Bike for the Cure.”

Heather Chynoweth

Heather Chynoweth rode the first 12 miles of Venture to Vegas with us last year. She has interacted with patients with HD during her Physician Assistant training in Arizona as well as her present work in Family Practice. Although she is new to long distance riding, she has ridden quite a bit in Western Colorado (Vail Pass and Glenwood Canyon) as well as Breckenridge near the Continental Divide. Her medical experience will be a plus with so many riders this year! Welcome aboard, Heather!

Heather Chynoweth
1137 Wolf Creek Court
Fruita, CO 81521
(970) 260-1516

Hope Chynoweth

Hope Chynoweth is another of our “newbies.” She is the younger sister of Heather and a music teacher. Hope graduated from Colorado Mesa University in May 2012 with a degree in Liberal Arts Music. This ride will be a new experience for her, as she has only done 1-day trips in Western Colorado before this year. She heard about this ride through Heather and believes it will be an excellent opportunity to support the HD cause and expand her riding experience.

Hope Chynoweth
2626 Cider Mill Road
Grand Junction, CO 81505
(970) 260-4490

Devon Walker

Devon Walker comes from an HD family. A native Ohioan, she graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University where she majored in Early Childhood Education. Currently she teaches kindergarten in Hilliard OH. Devon is a Board Member of the Central Ohio Chapter of HDSA. This is her first long distance bicycle ride. She is riding for her grandma, great uncle, and uncle who have all been affected by HD.

Devon Walker
2581 Scioto View Lane
Columbus, OH 43221
(740) 963-2141

Mary Ann Taylor

Mary Ann Taylor is Sherri’s sister. An avid tennis player and golfer, she and her husband Scott, split their time between Hemet CA (where she is a substitute teacher) and Truckee CA (where they live in the summer). She cross trains in spinning classes and did one of the STP rides with Sherri. Mary Ann is riding to raise funds for research to help to find a cure for her nephew Dustin, who has HD.

They have two daughters, Leslie and Shannon. Leslie is married to Matt Stockholm and they are expecting their first child in August 2013.

Mary Ann owned three Baskin-Robbins franchises from 1987-1999 in Reno, NV. At that time Scott retired from construction management, sold the business and has been pursuing playing golf year round. In 2007 she and Scott took a one year RV trip around the U.S.

Mary Ann Taylor,
Box 9446
Truckee, CA 96162
(775) 770-4908

Past “Bike for the Cure” Rides

Pedal The Gulf is the 15th ride for HD.
Prior rides include two coast-to-cost rides.

Over 21,000 miles have been pedaled through parts of 46 states and Washington DC. Our fundraising goal is $51,000 to bring the total raised to $600,000.