Employees of the Correctional Training Facility (CTF) and Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) attended the 2016 Campagnolo Gran Fondo to support the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s (CAF) Operation Rebound, a cycling event held in San Diego on April 10. The event was attended by more than 1,000 cyclists.
The Challenged Athletes Foundation’s Operation Rebound is a sports and fitness program for American military personnel, veterans and first responders with permanent physical disabilities. It provides opportunities to pursue active, athletic lifestyles by offering access to funding for equipment, training, sports clinics and competition expenses.
CTF staff raised more than $1,800 for the charity by holding a bake sale at the prison. Friends and staff from the two prisons in Soledad donated additional funds bringing the total amount raised to $2,130.
Representing both prisons at the event were the Salinas Valley Cyclopaths, a cycling club started by CTF Associate Warden Matthew Atchley and CTF Capt. Darren Chamberlain while both were working at SVSP. The club began in early 2015 as a means to establish coordinated team participation for this charity event, promote healthy living with staff and attend future cycling fundraising efforts. Since its inception, the club has grown with members from SVSP, CTF, Gabilan Conservation Camp and the Salinas Parole Unit.
For this year’s event three members of the Cyclopaths all rode together in the 56-mile ride. As a top fundraiser for the event, the Cyclopaths were honored with leading out the procession at the start line with other top donors and physically challenged athletes.
“The support from the employees at CTF and SVSP over the last year has been amazing,” Atchley said. “Both prisons have always pulled together for great causes, especially for ones that support our peers in the law enforcement community and veterans.”
Over the past 12 months, SV Cyclopaths have sponsored fundraising events, raising, more than $13,000 donated to organizations including CAF, Special Olympics of Northern California and local Monterey County veteran organizations.
“Our effort to promote healthier active lifestyles with our staff and their continued support for these amazing organizations continues to drive our determination to see this cycling club grow within the community,” Chamberlain said. “We have many more events planned this year, and knowing the lives our efforts will touch is all the motivation we need.”
Other events the Salinas Valley Cyclopaths will be participating in this year include “Ride 2 Recovery” on May 21 in Sacramento, “Bike the Bridges” on June 12 in Martinez, and the 3rd Annual Salinas Valley Cyclopaths’ “Ride for Vets” mountain bike ride in Fort Ord on Nov. 11.
For more information on the Challenged Athletes Foundation, visit https://www.challengedathletes.org/.
(Editor’s note: Some websites may not be accessible from a CDCR computer.)