John Clark has grown accustomed to getting around on two wheels.
“I started way back in 1999,” said Clark.
That’s when he was inspired to make a difference after his mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and his sister became the full-time caregiver.
“This whole story is built on my guilt,” said Clark. “What am I doing, I said to myself. I’m a cyclist so maybe I can do a cycling ride and raise some money for the Alzheimer’s Association of Connecticut.”
Little did John know where those two wheels would take him.
“I’ve gone down the east coast, the west coast, down the Mississippi, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont,” said Clark. “It became a passion for me.”
Twenty-two years and thousands of miles of later, John has raised more than he ever thought he could for the Alzheimer’s Association.
“Over $370,000 has been raised as a result of me riding my bicycle, now how great is that!”
The 78-year-old doesn’t ride alone. His purple bear Vivian sits right atop the handlebars for every ride.
“This little bear was named Vivian by the [Alzheimer’s] Association,” said Clark. “The middle name of my mom was Vivian. It’s a very emotional connection of this little bear on my bike and the memory of my mom.”
On Sunday, Vivian and John will be joined by a group of riders for the 22nd annual John’s Ride, which now stays in Connecticut due to John’s battle with prostate cancer, which he beat, proving once again that nothing can slow Clark down.
“I hope to be doing this for many more years and my new goal is a half a million dollars,” said Clark. “I still remain focused, I remain involved and I just want to keep doing it as long as I can.”
Visit alz.org/walk for more information.