The long-distance ride across North Carolina by the four “Little Guy” credit union bikers may be over but the team is out this week cheering their co-op counterparts, the Vermont Cabot Creamery cyclists, making their way into Virginia with more credit union events on tap in the Commonwealth.
The contingent began its bike ride May 29 in Shallotte, N.C., and covered 366 miles across eastern North Carolina raising more than $20,000 in donations before winding up in Clarksville, Va. on Sunday.
The Little Guy riders, who braved 40 mph winds and torrential rain from Tropical Storm Beryl, included John Radebaugh, president/CEO of the league; Eric Gelly, executive vice president/chief operating officer of the league; David Brehmer, CEO of First Carolina Corporate; and Jeff Jones, CEO of Freedom FCU of Rocky Mount, N.C.
The funds will go toward financing a children’s hospital project in conjunction with CUNA’s rooftop playground venture being promoted at the Democratic National Convention Sept. 3-9 in Charlotte, N.C.
Meanwhile, more than 2,000 people, including the Little Guy riders, flocked to Diamond View Park in Durham on Saturday for another bike-themed celebration, the Co-Op-A-Fair.
That family event, with area credit unions manning booths, honored bikers traveling up the East Coast taking part in a 2,500 mile trek sponsored by national co-op trade groups and the Vermont cheese co-op. The Cabot Community Tour winds up July 7 in Portland, Maine, with credit union execs promising to ride or take part in local events along the way.
“It was Team Little Guy's honor to take on the North Carolina route of the Cabot Community Ride,” declared John McGrail, CEO of the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation and a non-rider who drove along in a backup support car. “We found the Cabot folks we met to be genuinely great people with a huge heart and commitment to the cooperative model of doing business,”
At the Durham fair on Saturday, Michael Spink, innovation strategist at Local Government FCU, said "I think people got a real sense for what credit unions are all about.”
Participants in Durham in addition to LGFCU included Duke FCU, Generations Community CU, Latino Community CU, Self-Help CU, State Employees' CU and The Support Center.
The Cabot sponsors have repeatedly lauded credit union cooperation along the way noting that a contingent of Virginia credit union staffers are preparing to greet the Cabot riders at stops in Petersburg on Wednesday and later in the week in Fredericksburg and Richmond.
Cabot participants in Virginia this week include: Marine FCU, NSWC FCU, Virginia CU, Commonwealth One FCU and the Virginia Credit Union League.