A painful 24 hours | TheUnion.com

A painful 24 hours

One week from today, the Sierra Valley north of Truckee will once again have a pack of pedaling pain seekers spinning along the side of its roadways.

The 70 or so cyclists will set out at 1 p.m. July 30 and travel through the towns of Loyalton, Beckwourth and Vinton – all at 5,000 feet or higher elevations.

And then they’ll do it again … and again … and again, stopping only for breaks until 1 p.m. the next day.

It’s called The Agony Ride for a reason.

The event is geared to raise funds for the Christian Encounter Ranch, a Grass Valley residential counseling program for troubled young men and women between the ages of 16 and 25.

Those heading back to the Sierra Valley this summer for the 22nd annual version of the event will have some pretty high benchmarks to meet if The Agony is to surpass the success of years past.

According to Mike Petrillo, CEM executive director, last year’s event raised $95,000. The event eclipsed the $100,000 mark the previous two years, through the pledges per mile – or lump sum donations – solicited by its all-night riders.

Sixty-five cyclists participated in the event last year, with several of those riding nearly nonstop for the 24-hour period. Jeff Starsky and Rick Wylie logged the most mileage last year, each riding 357 miles. Katie Clement, who was accompanied by her husband Mitch, logged the most miles for a female cyclist, racking up 344.

The event is supported by volunteers from area churches offering their assistance, along with members of the Nevada County Radio Club, which helps keep track of the cyclists and offers a link between the three stops in case of emergency.

Christian Encounter Ranch is an 82-acre ranch located off Lime Kiln Road that includes a high school on the premises to help those in need with not only professional counseling and spiritual direction, but also with their education.

For more information on The Agony Ride or how to sponsor a cyclist or make a donation to CEM, click onto http://www.chritianencounter.net or call (530) 268-0877.

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