100-Mile Bike Race Raises Awareness & Money for Autism Therapy

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Bike racing, like any other sporting event, typically has a first place winner.

However there was no championship on the line for these racers as there was something more valuable than a trophy at stake.

100-Mile Bike Race

Spectrum Racing, a nonprofit from Naperville, partnered with The Autism Therapy Group to host a 100 mile bike race in an effort to raise awareness for autism therapy.

“We’ve been training all winter for this to get ready,” said Spectrum Racing member Gregg McGinnis. “Today is really showcasing the dedication of what we’re willing to do. This is not a racing team. We’re just providing events that we do and making a charitable arm to it.”

To add to the difficulty of their goal, the group of five riders wanted to complete the 100-mile bike race in four hours at the Ed Rudolph Velodrome in Northbrook.

“”It’s 100 miles on a track that’s very difficult,” said McGinnis. “It’s not just riding a bike it’s a lot to this track, a lot of character to it. We have to do it safely, and when you have more than say four people on the track then it becomes quite dangerous.”

The group started off in a four-man pace line style, and eventually rotated riders on and off. Another rider joined the group for the last five miles.

How Spectrum Racing Started

Spectrum Racing is comprised of four friends from the Naperville area, and was formed last year.

They wanted to raise awareness for autism therapy after seeing the struggles Robert Duncan, a member of the group, was going through with his son who has autism.

“It’s really a lot of lack of resources that are available especially until a child turns three,” said Spectrum Racing member Patrick Timmons “Just watching Rob and his family as well as everyone else out there in the same situation it was tough to watch. We’re fortunate that with the four of us he had someone to lean on.”

Duncan mentioned there aren’t many resources for middle class families, who have to decide sometimes to send their child to therapy or pay their bills as sessions can cost up to $1,500 a day.

So the group decided they would put on endurance events to raise money and awareness for the autism community.

The gesture and mission has meant the world to Rob and his family.

“It’s awesome,” said Duncan. “We talked about this several years ago. My son was diagnosed with autism. They just see the struggles that I go through everyday and we talked about doing a team. And then one day we got on the phone and we made it happen. We did it slowly that way we get all the steps so it’s successful. It’s been awesome.”

Goal Reached

The group completed their mission, finishing with a time of three hours and 52 minutes, and are on pace to raise $2,000.

Naperville News 17’s Kevin Jackman and Christian Canizal report.


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