Tri-State Trek is Major Inspiration: Team Greenwich Police Bikes 270 Miles for Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Team Good Folks

Team Good Folks came from as far as New Orleans and Austin Texas for the Tri-State Trek from Newton MA to Greenwich. Left to right: Jake Morris, Joel Hunt and Grif Fos. The goal of Team Good Folks was to raise $20,000 as a team for ALS, or $2,000 each.Credit: Leslie Yager

Update #2 After a grueling ride from Newton, MA to Greenwich, hundreds of bicyclists on teams with names like Team Good Folks, Team America and Team Christie participated in the Tri-State Trek to raise money and awareness for Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS).

At Roger Sherman Baldwin Park, despite the drizzle, spirits were high. In fact, for distance bike riding, the drizzle and mild temps might have been preferable to biking on a hot humid day.

“People in Greenwich are happy to support the cause for their home town hero,” said Greenwich Police Lt. Richard Cochran, whose fundraising goal was $20,000 but wound up closer to $40,000 this year.

“The generosity of all the people in Greenwich is huge. They’re willing to open their hearts and wallets. We do this each year because Roger was one of our own. He was an 18-year veteran of the police force and lost his battle at 44,” Cochran said.

Cochran

Lt. Richard Cochran headed up Team Greenwich Police in the Tri-State Trek. Credit: Leslie Yager

Team Good Folks, a group of riders including Jake Morris, Joel Hunt and their leader Grif Fos ventured first to Boston from homes as far afield as New Orleans and Austin, Texas. Despite the drizzle, the threesome were all smiles despite having ridden 270 miles in the past three days.

Other sources of inspiration included Gabe Cohen who started a team for the fundraiser with college buddy Chuck McNamee from Connecticut College. Gabe introduced us to Steve Saling who was diagnosed in 2006 with Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Cohen said his team has grown to about 30 members over the years. He said he was thrilled that the the Tri-State Trek finishes in Greenwich. In past years, the ride destination was White Plains, NY.

Gabe and Steve

Steve Saling and Gabe Cohen at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich at the end of a 270 mile bike ride fundraiser for Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Credit: Leslie Yager

Saling, a landscape architect, continues to work despite his diagnosis. He also designed the jerseys for the team who rode in the Tri-State Trek in his honor.

There is a reflective dot on Steve’s glasses, that is tracks wherever he is looking based on the movement of his head.

“Some of the clickers are on Steve’s shoulders,” Gabe said. “The river of letters is streaming down the right side of his screen, and when a letter gets closer, he’ll grab it. The program is called Dasher.”

“Some patients with ALS use almost a standard keyboard where they can click away, but Steve uses Dasher. With predictive text he can streams through,” Gabe said.

Steve Saling

Steve Saling was diagnosed with ALS in 2006 but is a busy landscape architect and participant in life. He has even recently skydived and is able to communicate effectively with a special program. Credit: Leslie Yager

“Everything is controlled by my computer on my screen,” Steve told Greenwich Free Press. The words, which scrolled across the top of Saling’s computer screen, were even shared on audio, not unlike Siri, but with a man’s voice.

Saling, who participates fully in life — he goes out for beers with friends, works as a landscape architect, and helped create the Steve Saling residence in Chelsea at the Leonard Florence Center for Living.  Saling even designed the bike jerseys the team who rose in the Tri-State Trek in his honor.

Saling, with his contagious smile, is a tremendous inspiration. A quick Google search turns up a Vimeo of him skydiving last fall!

celebrating the end of the Tri-State Trek

Celebrating the end of the Tri-State Trek at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park. Credit: Leslie Yager

bananas

shirts for Tri-State Trek

Steve Saling designed the Team America shirts for the group who make the Tri-State Trek.

trek

Steve Saling designed the Team America shirts for the group who make the Tri-State Trek.

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Steve Saling, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2006 is able to communicate with a sophisticated program called Dasher. He uses a sensor on his shoulder and a second one attached to his glasses to string together sentences. He told GFP that “Most people consider ALS terminal, but I think it is just a lousy disease,” he said. Credit: Leslie Yager

 Great American BBQ Company

The Great American BBQ Company out of White Plains did a great job providing food for exhausted bicyclists riding in the Tri-State Trek for ALS. Credit: Leslie Yager

Update #1:
At 2:00pm the teams riding to raise funds to fight ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, who rode all the way down from Boston to Greenwich joined forces with many others for the last 9 miles from the Roger Petrone rest stop at the intersection of Riversville Rd and John Street.
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Original Story June 25: Team Greenwich Police will ride in the Tri-State Trek to raise money and awareness  to battle ALS , also known as “Lou Gehrig’s” disease. The 24 member team will be riding about 100 miles a day for three days.

Team Greenwich Police ride’s in honor of our brother officer, Sergeant Roger Petrone, who died from ALS.  Roger served 18 years with the Greenwich Police Department and passed away at the age of 44 after a seven year battle with this horrible disease.
The Trek begins in Boston on June 26th, and makes its way through Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut ending in Greenwich on the 28th.
The team will regroup at the “Roger Petrone Rest Stop” which the intersection of John Street and Riversville Road at 2:00pm. The 300+ bikers will be led by Roger’s 12-year-old daughter, Sydney, down Greenwich Avenue and across the finish line arriving at 3:10pm in Roger Sherman Baldwin Park.
Please come out and support the riders!

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Email news tips to Greenwich Free Press editor Leslie.Yager@GreenwichFreePress.com
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