Tom Oger of Tucson has participated in Northern Arizona Healthcare’s Pepsi-Cola Taylor House Century Ride every July for the past 11 years. In 2004, Oger’s niece was in an automobile accident in Northern Arizona and had to be air-lifted to Flagstaff Medical Center. Oger’s sister-in-law and other family members stayed at the Taylor House during the month Oger’s niece was receiving treatment.
In June of that year, Oger was looking for an organized bicycle ride to participate in to escape the Tucson heat. When he came across a ride benefiting the Taylor House, his wife encouraged him to participate. The couple made the trip to Flagstaff in July for the ride. The weather that year was sunny with only small bouts of rain, and Oger enjoyed the 95-mile route, which he describes as “the good, but not over-challenging.” Since then, Oger and his family and friends have participated in the ride, making the trip into a family vacation and tradition.
“I know every year I ride the Taylor House ride, I help someone who is in need of a special place to stay while their loved ones are receiving treatment at Flagstaff Medical Center,” Oger said.
The 15th annual Pepsi-Cola Taylor House Century Ride begins at 7 a.m. on Saturday, July 18. Check in is at 6 a.m. Riders leave from FMC’s West Campus parking lot, on the corner of Beaver Street and Forest Avenue. The 95-mile route takes riders through Flagstaff and Wupatki and Sunset Crater national monuments, and then back to FMC. Loops of 65-, 45- and 30-miles are available to those who wish to ride shorter distances. All routes wind through historic Flagstaff, then loop through the cool pines and high desert of Northern Arizona. Riders will be served a catered lunch at the end of the ride.
Registration is $60 per person. Cyclists will receive a 2015 commemorative t-shirt and water bottle on a first-come, first-served basis. Donors who give $150 will receive a $35 gift certificate from Absolute Bikes; donors who give $500 will receive a $75 Absolute Bikes gift certificate; and donors who give $750 will receive a $100 Absolute Bikes gift certificate.
For more information or to register, visit FlagstaffMedicalCenter.com/taylorride or call the FMC Foundation at 877-527-5291. Entry forms are also available at the FMC Foundation, 1050 N. San Francisco St., Flagstaff; and at both Absolute Bikes locations at 200 E. Route 66, Flagstaff and 6101 Hwy. 179, Village of Oak Creek.
Photo: Tom Oger of Tucson brings friends to join him in the Taylor House Century Ride every year.