Spencer Lueders is the founder of the 24 Hours of Booty – which is going to celebrate its 10th Anniversary in 2011. ?The fact that the 2010 Ride for the Roses was Spencer’s 10th time participating in the event was something that got me thinking, “Is this where it all started?” ?The question isn’t, “What inspired him out in the hill country of Texas?” – it’s “What didn’t?”
When Spencer called me in September with an invitation to go to Austin I was speechless [I know, shocker]. ?He explained that we would be riding and chatting with Lance, sharing our story with the folks at LiveStrong while celebrating Survivorship and Hope. ?So with this VIP package Jen and I received we had access to events that only the top fundraisers had. ?This is what makes Spencer unique – he could stand up every year and be recognized as one of the, if not the, top fundraiser – of the over 5 million dollars Booty has raised since its inception a large portion of that has gone to LiveStrong. ?But instead of being the individual representing the organization that has raised these funds he shares the honor amongst the top fundraisers, staff, board members and this year, us. ?Spencer feels that my story and, more importantly, OUR story is what 24 Hours of Booty is all about – creating and fostering meaningful relationships.
I’ve posted about the private ride with Lance, Levi and Team Radio Shack on Saturday but the most memorable ride was on Sunday. ?I got to ride 40 miles with my wife and best friend Jen – and as we soaked in a beautiful fall afternoon at the last rest stop we were met by Spencer [he was out for an easy 65!]. ?He asked me if I’d like to ride in with him and I replied instantly, “For sure!” ?And so we rode the final five miles together, roughly the same distance we rode with Lance on Saturday – only this was the ride that will forever be burned in my memory. ?I got to ride in side-by-side with the guy that was the catalyst for me and so many other survivors. ?We crossed the line together – Spencer in the “Supporter” chute and me in the “Survivor” chute. ?This is why we share our story – so that future Spencers and Bryans [future Bryans?! – Lord help us] know that Hope lives.
What’s so great about Spencer is that he doesn’t see a ride?with him as anything special – he thinks it’s a privilege to ride with us.