Local Muscle Helps Power Cross-country Bikeathon

CCFSHD bike finish 001
The C2C4FSHD Team make it home to Barclays Center after a 54-day bike ride to benefit research for Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy

For 4,291 miles, through 46 cities and 15 states, and during 54 days, a bicycle journey made its way across the United States to raise funds and awareness for Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy. FSHD is a genetic muscle disorder in which the muscles of the face, shoulder blades and upper arms are among the most affected (from the MDA website). The proceeds of this bike-a-thon that began in Seattle, Washington on May 27 and finished at Barclays Center on July 19th benefitted the Chris Carrino Foundation for FSHD (www.chriscarrinofoundation.org ).

CCFSHD bike finish 003 M Rochford, F Carbone, J Leon
M Rochford, F Carbone, J Leon:  St. Nicks Alliance Exec. Dir. Michael Rochford (far left) joined the bikers at the George Washington Bridge and Dep. Exec. Dir. Jose Leon (far right) joined the bikers in Brooklyn. They are joined by Frank Carbone (center) Photo credit: Robert Napolitano

Chris Carrino, the radio play-by-play voice of Nets basketball for sixteen years, noticed the beginning symptoms of FSHD during his college days that have resulted in the progressive weakening of the muscles mostly in his shoulders and upper limbs. He started his foundation in 2011, in order to raise money that would fund specifically focused scientific research on this condition.

Greenpoint advocate, Frank Carbone was a powerhouse behind this cross-country ride. When Carrino mentioned to him about having a big event to fundraise and raise awareness, Carbone came up with the idea of a cross-country bike ride. He had experience doing something similar for St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy twenty years ago. As concept creator and core team leader Carbone was in charge of the logistics and route, putting together the sponsors, training the team, and then managing them for their two months on the road. Carbone credited Carrino’s philosophy: “all you gotta do is get to the next hill” as being a constant mental mantra that urged the C2C4FSHD Team to keep pedaling throughout the 54-day trek. “How many hills have we climbed on this trip? We’ve done it. We’ve accomplished it. We’ve had that voice in the back of our heads saying, ‘just get up that next hill, and then worry about the next one and keep on going’. That’s how we made it!” stated Carbone in a Facebook Live video right before they rode out from Carrino’s home in New Jersey to head for the Brooklyn finish line.

Some locals had the opportunity to join the team on the last legs of this trek at their choice of two spots: on the George Washington Bridge or the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge (near City Hall) and bicycling over the bridge and helping to “break the tape” at Barclays Center.  Also there was a crowd waiting at Barclays Center to cheer the team’s return home.

“We raised a good amount of money and more importantly raised awareness — we connected with thousands of people. The road show, as we called it, was a perfect way to spread the word!” said Carbone.

If you wish to support the Chris Carrino Foundation to help fund research of FSHD by making a donation, please visit the foundation’s website at www.chriscarrinofoundation.org

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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