POPS team

Team POPS represents Peoria at the finish line of the 2011 El Tour de Tucson. From left to right, Shannon, Shane, and Jerry Stutzman; Carl and Jordan Ames.

Peoria residents Carl and Jordan Ames, a father and son team going by the name of “AMES 2 FINISH,” will be cycling the 60-mile segment of the 30th El Tour de Tucson Nov. 17. Joining them on the cycling tour will friends from POPS Ride (www.popsride.com), Jerry Stutzman, Shane Stutzman, Shannon Stutzman, and Tracy Swartz, all Peoria residents. The El Tour de Tucson is a huge cycling event organized to raise funds for many organizations. According to the website www1.perimeterbicycling.com, 22 non-profit organizations benefit from this event.

Last year, Carl and Jordan cycled the 42-mile segment but have upped the challenge to 60 miles. However, their good friend and Peoria resident Kyle Crump will be cycling the 111-mile segment. Crump just completed an epic cycling adventure, The Tour de Ted, a special event for his employer, Edward Jones, cycling 700 miles from Colorado Springs, Colo., ending in St. Louis, Mo. The event was a fundraising project for cancer research honoring Ted Jones, one of the company’s founding partners who passed away of cancer.

Also last year, the POPS Ride team of Shane, Shannon, and Peoria resident Kyle Worley, accompanied by father Jerry and a support crew consisting of family friends, made their own epic adventure when they cycled from St. Augustine, Fla. to San Diego, Calif., all for the benefit of raising awareness and funds for Parkinson's Disease. Funds raised were donated to The Michael J. Foxx Foundation, The Davis Phinney Foundation, The Muhammad Ali Parkinson’s Disease Research Center located in downtown Phoenix, AZ., as well as the TGEN Foundation. You can check out their adventure and still donate to their cause by going to their website www.popsride.com.

Carl Ames and Jerry Stutzman live with the challenge of Parkinson’s Disease in their daily lives and have found cycling to be a sport that brings them respite from the disease, great exercise, and fun interaction with family, friends, and many new friends they make along the way. Both have great families to support them and hope to be able to have many great experiences throughout their lives.

Ames would like to thank the citizens of Peoria and Glendale for the courtesy toward cyclists that he has noticed. Everyone needs to be aware of each other and give each other the proper space. As a motorist, if you see a cyclist in the bike lane or on a road without a lane, move to the next lane over if possible, or if not give them a little extra space. Cyclists should observe and obey the traffic laws as well and make it safe for all.