MYERS PARK (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – The 24 hours Booty wrapped up around 7 pm in Myers Park Saturday.
Hundreds of cyclists rode along the “booty loop” for 24 hours to raise money for cancer programs.
Many riders, excited to join again in person after a fully virtual ride in 2020 because of COVID.
Perhaps one of the most excited riders is Ashley Eisenmenger, in Charlotte for her first time at the event and clocking 100 miles, known as a ‘century ride.’
Eisenmenger wasn’t alone during her ride on Saturday; her friend Caroline Gaynor was with her with every push of the pedal.
“Ashley is visually impaired and we’re riding on a tandem bike,” explained Gaynor.
She also said that double the riders, doesn’t mean double the power.
Eisenmenger said, “Communication is key because I can’t see what’s happening around m, so I rely on her to see for both of us,” Eisenmenger said, “Our feet also move in the same cadence, so anytime she coasts, I have to coast and anytime we lean the bike, I have to know that we’re leaning the bike.”
It’s a true team effort raising money for those navigating cancer and beyond.
Spencer Lueders, founder of the 24 Foundation started the 24 Hours of Booty ride 20 years ago.
He said, “A survivor will come up to me and grab me by the shoulders and say ‘Listen, I literally am alive because of the programs that you guys support, I would not be here otherwise.’”
Lueders started the ride by himself and the effort had gotten larger and larger every year.
The money raised goes towards cancer navigation programs, but also special programs like music and art therapy for survivors.
“Knowing that the money stays right here in the community and is helping people today that are literally using those programs right now as we speak, it’s just a really good feeling,” Lueders said.
The mission is close riders’ hearts, with both Eisenmenger and Gaynor losing loved ones to cancer.
Gaynor said, “Financially it’s a drain, emotionally it’s a drain, and organizations like 24 Foundation support in ways that you might not have even realized you needed support.”
The women said all of the training has been well worth it.
“It’s kind of great to see the last year and a half of adjusting and adapting pay off in-person here with her,” said Eisenmenger.
Gaynor added, “The energy here is amazing, everyone is supporting one another and it’s all for such an amazing cause.” This year’s event raised $1.2 million as of Saturday morning.