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South Hills Bikers Ride Again for Arthritis Riding 106 miles over ten hours, they raised $6500 F i v e f r i e n d s from Pittsburgh’s South Hills area, including two from Upper St. Clair, joined together on a cold, rainy Saturday this past October to ride their bikes 106 miles in one day along the Great Allegheny Passage trail to raise awareness and money for the Arthritis Foundation. Jeff Krakoff, 50, and Vic Walczak, 53, of Upper St. Clair, were joined by Pete Chiste, 56, Peters Township; Craig Hoffman, 42, Bethel Park; and Scott Bowlin, 35, Mt. Lebanon. In 2013, four members of this group and five others rode from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. on the rail trail over five days, averaging about 65 miles each day in the inaugural fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation. Krakoff said the original idea for the Pittsburgh to D.C. ride came during morning coffee after a weekly soccer game. He said, “The first ride was really a win-win situation. We had so much fun exploring the beauty of our trail system, but we also were able to set a difficult goal and achieved it—all while raising money for a great cause.” Krakoff, who owns a public relations firm, and Bowlin, who owns a graphic

design firm, branded this year’s ride “RiverRide 100.” The name represents the distance and the fact that the trail they rode follows and crosses the Casselman, Youghiogheny, and Monongahela Rivers to the confluence of the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers in Pittsburgh. RiverRide 100 was the first “century ride”—or 100-plus mile ride—for each of the riders. The trip began in Rockwood, near Somerset, just before 8 a.m. and finished at “the Point” in downtown Pittsburgh at about 6 p.m. The more than $6500 raised will be used to provide support, referrals, and programming for people with arthritis and their families. Krakoff, Walczak, and Chiste have been diagnosed with arthritis, and Hoffman and Bowlin both have various aches and pains at different times due to their sporting lifestyles. According to Walczak, “Riding more than 100 miles in one day was quite a challenge, especially when you consider that it was a cold, rainy day, and the trail was soft and covered with soggy leaves for most of the trip.” “We trained together and separately for weeks to prepare for this ride,” said Krakoff, who has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for about 20 years. “I have really grown to love and appreciate bike riding since it’s a great low-impact activity that has a positive impact on both body and mind.” The group will look for other bike riding locations and adventures, but plan on making RiverRide 100 an annual fundraising event. They are looking for more people to get involved in future rides. n

Visit for more information. Spring 2015




Spring 2015 issue of UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY Magazine, the official publication of the School District and Township of Upper St. Clair, Pennsy...

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