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Minnesota family comes together for Breast Cancer Ride

When Rosemount resident Missy Young’s now 12-year-old son Dylan asked if he could ride his bike in family friend Kari Mitchell’s Breast Cancer Ride three years ago, Missy found herself hard-pressed to say no.

The Breast Cancer Ride is a one-day bicycle event to raise money and awareness for local breast cancer service organizations. Missy and her friend Mitchell had lost a close friend to the disease, so the cause was close to their hearts. 

Mitchell, who had many years of experience producing fundraising bike rides for people with AIDS, wanted to dedicate her event planning skills to a cause that affected her personally. So nine years ago, she left her job and created a nonprofit to benefit people with breast cancer. Missy has volunteered for her friend’s Breast Cancer Ride in some capacity every year since.

Her eldest son often tagged along, even if it meant starting a volunteer shift checking in participants at 5 a.m. Then, during one of his volunteer gigs, Dylan watched all the riders take off and asked his mom why they couldn’t ride too.

“My son said he wanted to ride. I wasn’t going to say no,” Missy said.

Mother and son

So she and Dylan, who will be entering seventh grade at Rosemount Middle School this fall, signed up to ride. This August will be their third year biking together in the Breast Cancer Ride. The mother-son pair, who had never participated in a long bike ride before, rode 23 miles that first year. They rode 35 miles the next. This year, they plan to tackle the 42-mile route.

“The first year we did it, (Dylan) did it on his dirt bike,” Missy said. “He was a trooper. He fell right after mile 7 and scraped up his elbow and knee, but he wanted to finish the ride.” 

She said Dylan is not the least bit intimidated by a longer route this year. On the contrary, he is eagerly anticipating the day.

“He’s so much fun to ride with,” Missy said. “He asks me all the time, ‘Mom, is it coming up? When’s the ride?’” 

Missy said the bike ride not only provides money for a great cause, but it also offers a fantastic bonding experience for her and her son. Last year they went out and purchased new bikes together, and the two love to stop and talk about the different things they saw at pit stops along the way.

“It’s amazing,” Missy said. “It brings us together in a different way on the ride. He and I are like partners rather than mother and son.”

She said she will continue to do the bike ride with him every year if he wants to, because the two have so much fun together.

“We get along so well during it because we’re doing something together and pushing each other,” Missy said. “It is a huge bonding experience for us.” 

This year, they may even bring Dylan’s younger siblings, Austin (10) and Olivia (6) along for the ride, though those two would stick to the shortest route.  

“The people, the community that it (the Breast Cancer Ride) is built within, is amazing because I’ve been a part of it since the very beginning,” Missy said.

This year will mark the Breast Cancer Ride’s nine-year anniversary. The ride will take place Saturday, Aug. 13, in conjunction with its brother event, the AttaBoy Ride, which raises money and awareness for local organizations making an impact on men affected by cancer. 

Participants are able to choose from multiple route options, including 12-mile, 23-mile, and 42-mile loops, or they can combine routes for more mileage. Those opting for the 42-mile route will travel through Rosemount and Farmington. The ride begins and ends in Eagan.

For more information, or to register for the Breast Cancer Ride or make a donation, visit http://www.charityeventsofminnesota.org/.

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