Pembroke native participates in the Autumn Escape Bike Trek in Memory of her Late Parents | American Lung Association

Pembroke native participates in the Autumn Escape Bike Trek in Memory of her Late Parents

(April 20, 2015)

BOSTON, MA - When Donna (Ruel) Hobbs, of Pembroke, Massachusetts, decided she wanted to start cycling to get in shape, she didn’t know she’d be embarking on a journey that would help her get ready for ride that would raise money to help fight lung disease, which was the cause of both her parents’ deaths. Hobbs will participate in the Autumn Escape Bike Trek (AEBT) for the second time on Friday, September 25 through Sunday September 27.

The Autumn Escape Bike Trek is a fully-supported ride along beautiful Cape Cod. The three-day event offers riders an option of cycling for three-days, 160 miles or for two-days, 105 miles. The ride begins in Plymouth and ends in Provincetown. Funds raised for the Trek will support the Lung Association’s mission of saving lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.

Hobbs decided to participate in the AEBT after hearing about the event from her friend, Mike Rossik. “When I found out that it supports those with lung disease, it was a no-brainer for me. Both of my parents died from lung cancer and this was a great way to show my support to them. Struggling to breathe is a scary thought,” Hobbs’s mother, Winnie Ruel died at 66 years-old and her father, Evariste (E.J.) Ruel passed away at 81 years-old.

To prepare for the Trek, Donna spent most days throughout the week training 30 miles on her bike on the Cape Cod Canal. She eventually started riding on the road with her new teammates on Team “Happy Pace.” “Having the proper training helped a lot and by the time it was time to ride, I was comfortable.”

Hobbs said the ride was a great experience and she was inspired by her fellow riders. “Seeing others pushing through with their oxygen tanks gave me the strength to keep going myself, it was amazing.” Donna’s efforts and fundraising earned her the Rookie of the Year title at last year’s event.

Participating again this year, Donna said she’s certain the AEBT will be something she participates in annually. “The whole camaraderie of the riders and scenic view are what I’m really looking forward to.” Taking part in an event that helps those like her parents gives Donna a sense of accomplishment as well. “I’m sure my parents would be happy I’m doing something that would help others who are dealing with with lung cancer and other lung diseases.”

AEBT registration is $55 for a two-day ride and $75 for a three-day ride with a fundraising minimum of $500. Food and accommodations are included.  To find out more about the event contact Nicole DeVito or at 401-533-5172



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