On October 23, 2011, Team Standing Cyclist rider Frank Angelo Cavaluzzi completed an 89 mile seat-less bicycle ride, as a tribute to Rose, a very special nine year old girl challenged by an aggressive
disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Her song lyrics were the inspiration behind this solo 12-hour road cycling
This trip route was tracked live using a SPOT Satellite
Messenger which automatically sent the rider's coordinates via satellite to GoogleMaps. We've recorded this journey
as a SPOT Adventure, for future viewing. Photos taken along the route appear within the map, as well.
months back, an associate of mine shared a special poem, with friends and family, written by his nine year old daughter.
I was lucky enough to be on that list. They were actually lyrics to a song written with positive energy from a place
of strength. An honest, vulnerable place deep inside where many of us do not dare to venture. We’re not all that
brave…but Rose is. Rose is a medically challenged young lady with a wisdom beyond her years. Her creative
energy flowed from the page and into everyone who had the pleasure of experiencing her words.
After I read those
lyrics, I couldn’t shake them. I had been planning my annual Standing Cyclist seat-less bicycle adventure tour.
I train all year, without a seat, to ride long days and log big miles standing up, to raise awareness for special causes.
Lots of organizing, project management, and pain. Yes, plenty of pain, both mental and physical. There is usually a lot
of publicity involved with these multi-day solo events. Interviews, blogging, etc. A certain amount of fanfare.
This year, I just wasn’t feeling it. I looked into many good causes and formed excellent relationships for the future,
but nothing felt right for this season. During this time, I couldn’t get that song and Rose’s health challenges out
of my head. It inspired me to step up and go beyond my normal routine. To do something more personal this time around.
Rose inspired me to do what I do…but better, so I decided to dedicate this ride to Rose.
A single day ride,
in a standing (seat-less) position, from dawn to dark. A twelve hour day, capped off with one hour of night riding at
the end. One flat tire, 8,000 calories and 89 miles later, I had beaten my personal best of 73 miles in one day, while
standing up. Yes, this ride was different. No music, riding partners, reporters, checkpoints, mechanical support or
fans along the way. I only told a few people what I was doing and why. Rose and her family didn't even know
what I signed up for. This was perhaps the toughest event I've ever attempted, for that very reason. I was completely
on my own. On the bike and in my head. Just me and those wise little words scribed by that wise young lady, but as it turned
out, that's all I really needed.
I’ve often thought that being who you are and doing what you love, while
serving and inspiring others is a big part of what Standing Cyclist is all about. That is what Rose did for me, this time
around. Rose being Rose, inspired me to be a tougher athlete and I hope a better man, as well. Thank you Rose for being…you.
I will stand for you anytime.
Peace Always, Frank A Cavaluzzi StandingCyclist
Rose is challenged by Spinal Muscular Atrophy. SMA is a devastating
genetic disease that destroys the nerves that control voluntary movement. Children born with SMA may never crawl, walk, or
even lift their head. Families who live with SMA turn to Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy for information, guidance, encouragement
and most importantly; HOPE.
Rose's family has created a Fundraiser Home Page in honor of Rose. Please
click to donate directly to FSMA. All proceeds go to finding a treatment and cure for SMA, family support services, and
improving care for all patients.
Side Note: Book Dedication
In January 2010,
Author Allen St. John published his book, The Billion Dollar Game: Behind the Scenes of the Greatest Day in American Sport
- Super Bowl Sunday. St. John, A New York Times Best Selling Author, was so impressed by Rose that
he dedicated his book to her.
more information on SMA and how you can help Rose and other children fight this battle, please visit:
The following video is about SMA and another little lady, named Xamara.
Frank Cavaluzzi rode a custom
configured 27-speed bicycle, in a standup cycling position. The frame was modified to prevent the possible use of
a seat/seatpost in route. The drivetrain was a combination of road and mountain bike parts. The cockpit was extended
upward for greater comfort and control, through the use of BMX racing bars/stem and a carbon fiber road fork with an uncut
steer tube. The wheels were ultra thin and light to minimize rolling resistance. The pedals were large platform downhill racing
models, with sharp studs to prevent slipping. Standard, rigid sole mountain bike shoes (minus the SPD cleats) transferred
force from rider to machine.
The route was on-road and circled around Seneca Lake, one of New York's
Finger Lakes located 4 1/2 hrs north of New York City. Basecamp the night before and after the ride was Robert Treman
State Park just outside of Ithaca, NY. Recent flooding throughout the area destroyed the main access bridge to all campsites,
which made for exciting drives through the creek, at all hours of the day and night.
Frank trains all year long
and rides with a rescue inhaler and Polar Heart Rate Monitor, to help him manage his Allergic Asthma. He has been riding seat-less
for 6 years and uses his respiratory challenges, along with this strenuous and unique style of riding, to focus public
attention on worthwhile social and charitable initiatives.
iStand for Rose 2011 Ride Stats:
October 23, 2011 Started Ride at 7:30am Total Time 11 hrs 45 mins (with food/bathroom breaks and bike repair time
included) Total Distance 89 miles Max Speed 23.6 mph Actual Time In Motion - Standing - Pedaling
8hrs 45mins Average Heart Rate 140 BPM Total Kcal Burned/Percent Fat 7,734/35 Ended Ride at 7:15pm Average
Outside Temperature 46 F Average Wind Speed 11 MPH Weather Partly Cloudy