January 24, 2019
Registration for the 23rd annual Great American Bike Race opens Feb. 6. Teams are encouraged to reserve a spot early at gabr.sanfordhealth.org before registration fills up.
This year’s stationary bike race will be April 27 at Legacy High School. The event benefits local children and young adults with cerebral palsy or related disabilities by helping families pay for medical services and purchase equipment such as wheelchairs, communication devices and adaptive tricycles.
Last year’s riders raised more than $420,000, and this year, the Sanford Health Foundation is aiming even higher with a goal for $500,000 to meet the growing needs of children and families in the region.
Every dollar raised at the event goes to help children and families in central and western North Dakota. Since the race began in in 1997, GABR has dispersed more than $3.5 million to support children and young adults with cerebral palsy and other childhood-onset conditions that affect development.
Relive GABR 2018
In 2018, 134 teams consisting of 1,522 bikers rode for a total of 8,061 miles. One of those participants was Tina Miller, who rode for Bullseye’s Peddlers with her Target co-workers.
“The energy and the excitement of the teams and the passion behind it is really exciting,” Miller said. “We at Target have had multiple team members who’ve been affected by it or who have been supported by it and so this is just a great way for us to give back.”
Some of the pediatric therapists who work with the kids benefiting from the race also got involved. The Sanford Pediatric Therapies team has returned each year since the race began.
“I work with the children that the funds directly go towards, and, if they can live their life with a disability, then I can ride for 20 minutes and work my little butt off,” said Rhiannon Salwei, a physical therapist at Sanford Bismarck.
Many of the families who have benefited from the mission of GABR have given back by participating in the annual event.
“My niece, Miss Libby, has gotten a couple different pieces of equipment that have helped her live a little more exciting, normal life,” said Nicole Morrison, a biker for Riding with Miss Libby. Her niece was born with schizencephaly, a birth defect that affects development.
Dr. Kevin Murphy, a pediatric rehabilitation medicine specialist at Gillette Children’s Specialty Hospital in Duluth, Minn., came up with the idea for the race 22 years ago after traveling to Bismarck monthly to see pediatric therapy patients. He heard about a similar race in Canada known as the Great Canadian Bike Race and thought it would work in North Dakota.
That instinct was right. The first race had 10 bikes set up at Gateway Mall in Bismarck. Since then, the event has grown to be one of the largest of its kind in the United States.
Mark your calendar: GABR 2019
- When: April 27, 8:15 to 3:30 p.m.
- Where: Legacy High School, Bismarck
- More details: Registration opens Feb. 6. Visit gabr.sanfordhealth.org for more information.