We Ride for CJ

CJ possesses a unique quality that is in short supply today. He has the innate ability to brighten up a room with his contagious smile and a positive can-do attitude.

CJ is a cyclist, Team Flyers skier and a child with Down syndrome. But above all else, CJ refuses to let his intellectual disability define him. Like your average fourteen-year-old kid, he is passionate about baseball (a huge Bees fan), interested in Math and Science, and his favorite superhero is none other than Captain America.

Like so many Park City families, CJ’s loving parents, Chris and Muggins, moved here to take advantage of the outdoor recreation this town has to offer. As active National Ability Center volunteers for over a decade, Chris and Muggins looked towards the organization as a great approach to get CJ started on a pair of skis and participate in other activities. But, to their delight, CJ learned more than just how to ski or ride a bike. He formed life-long relationships with his teammates and coaches.

Two years ago, NAC instructor, Alex Mendelson, helped CJ get on a bike for the first time, and opened up a whole new world of possibilities. CJ began on a tandem bike with his Dad and keeps on progressing. He can now be seen cruising down the streets on his own bike.

This year will be CJ’s fourth Summit Challenge ride. His first two years, CJ rode on a tandem with his father, Chris. Last year, CJ rode 12 miles – just short of the whole 16-mile ride, where his parents picked him up as planned and drove him to cross the finish line as a proud champion.

Like many of our riders, in 2017, CJ is looking to expand upon his goals with his eyes set on finishing the entire 16-mile ride. CJ’s father has a philosophy of taking his son’s progress day-by-day and remembering that the process is a marathon, not a sprint. Between weekly training every Tuesday at the NAC and joining his father on ten-mile bike rides, CJ is building up his stamina for the big ride on August 26th.

CJ is also taking his role on Team Flyers to a new level, as a “big air” aficionado. He loves to fly and carve “good turns” across the mountain. Not only does CJ ski with the NAC, but also he swims, bikes, and attends several NAC camps.

We ride for CJ. Who do you ride for?

You can help riders like CJ. Share CJ’s story and USE #iridefor and #ridesummit in your fundraising: