The Chattanooga Bicycle Club is proud to announce our honorary lead rider for the 3-State 3-Mountain Challenge: Samantha Gilley, a 17-year-old from Flintstone Georgia.
Samantha is blind and a nine-time cancer survivor and will be riding a tandem with her uncle, Barry Gilley. The Club has also contributed $1,600 to purchase a new Cannondale tandem for Samantha, rather than the loaner she has been riding. . . .
The 3-State will officially kick off Samantha’s training program for her “Sites Unseen” tour in October from Chattanooga to Memphis. With the help of sighted pilots, Samantha will travel the full distance by tandem and arrive in Memphis in time to celebrate Survivor Day, an annual celebration held by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where she has been a patient much of her life.
Samantha hopes to raise money and awareness for the work done at St. Jude and to give hope to kids in situations just like her own. As she told Club members recently, “I want to give back to St. Jude in return for them saving my life more than once. I want other kids to have a chance at life as well. If you ask me, no child should have their life cut short because of something like cancer. Trust me, I know. Mine almost was…
“My favorite thing to do is ride tandem bikes. I love feeling the wind in my face and the thrill of speeding down a hill after just making a hard climb up to the top.”