Paceline: Finding your anchor in Augusta

Joshua Duffy, Photo Courtesy: Abigail Mangum, Wier/Stewart

Shared by Ellice Whatley Bowman, Event Operations and Merchandise Coordinator for Paceline Ride, LLC.

On May 10-11, 2019, Paceline hosts a bike ride and community celebration to benefit critical research and survivorship at the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University.
This story is a look at why one of those riders decided to get involved.

In the cold Minneapolis winters, Joshua Duffy, like many people who live in downtown Minneapolis, would bike to work and school daily. His main form of transportation changed in May 2017 when he and his wife moved from the Minneapolis biking community, where there were dedicated cycling paths everywhere, to Augusta, Georgia. Being new to the Augusta area, Duffy has been searching for ways to be a part of the community, and as an employee of the Georgia Cyber Center, he understands the importance of having a strong community in Augusta.

“They’re bringing in a lot of people from Silicon Valley and D.C.,” Duffy explained. “There is no good resource to try to get involved in the community and have community experiences, which I can relate to because I have struggled with that since moving here. When Paceline came up, I thought, ‘Oh — this makes sense!’”

Like many people, cancer has impacted Duffy’s family. His grandfather died before Duffy was born after a tough battle with bone cancer and leukemia.

It was something that is much more treatable now, so supporting cancer research digs deep,” he said. “My mom always tells me the story of her dad handing her the family camera, and saying, ‘Let’s go outside and take the last good photo of me.’ It was a death sentence, and now it’s not. There is hope. The people I love most have been affected by it directly, and it altered the course of their lives. That hangs over me.”

Rallying around a cause he’s passionate about, he joined the Paceline to find community. Combining cycling and philanthropy, Duffy found something to chase after and, like many people who may be new to the area, he needed just that. He sees Paceline as his community tie in Augusta.

“I’m not an overly physical person, but cycling is the one physical thing that stays fun even when it gets hard,” he said. “In the end I want to raise money for the Georgia Cancer Center, and if I can have fun doing that and doing something I am comfortable with, especially in a place that I have not been for that long, I feel that it could be a new anchor for me in a way.”

Join the Paceline.

Paceline is more than a ride. It’s a community event where 100% of all fundraising goes to fund critical research and survivorship at the Georgia Cancer Center. Learn more or register to ride at pacelineride.org.

A wide range of volunteer options including bike management, food and beverage tent operations, photography, rider check-in and more are available. Register as a 2019 Paceline Volunteer.

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Augusta University Staff is a collection of talented writers, photographers, students and professionals; all working together to promote and support the amazing impacts and every day wins of Augusta University and the people that make up JagNation.

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