Solar Bear Ride Background
The seeds for the Solar Bear Ride were sown on a cold winter’s night about seven years ago. Two guys, Carl Karpinski and David Welch, were sitting next to one another at a basketball game at R.J. Reynolds High. Both men enjoy cycling; both have screws loose, too, which helps. Out of the blue, Welch turned to Karpinski and said “You know what’d be fun? Riding our bikes to the beach.”
And so it began.
That year and over the next few, they coerced friends and family to come along. David’s brother Philip, Jim Vaughan and Fred Williams joined in. This year, they convinced a man named Jim Olson, a triathlete, that he should come, too. And for comic relief, they extended an invitation to Scott Sexton as well. As the plan evolved – the 2013 version was also expanded to run across the entire state – it was decided that we might be able to do accomplish something other than wearing ourselves out. On New Year’s Day 2013, an annual fundraiser called the Polar Bear Ride that benefits Cancer Services of Winston-Salem, was cancelled due to poor weather.
Thus, the Solar Bear Ride was born.
Scott Sexton, Winston-Salem Journal
From the left: Philip Welch, Carl Karpinski, Scott Sexton, Jim Vaughan, Fred Williams, and David Welch.
Matt and Amy Canter
Matt: North Forsyth High.
Amy: Human Nutrition at U of NC Greensboro, Registered/Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Healing Touch Practitioner, Aromatherapy Practitioner
Matt: Co-Owner of Ken’s Bike Shop
Amy: Owner of Balance Energize Thrive, LLC
Family: Married and have an 20 year old daughter
Matt – Riding long distances and racing since 1989.
Amy – Riding road, cross and mountain bikes for pleasure since 2010.
Why he rides: “Just the ability to go out on a bicycle and come back with a clear, happy head.”
Why she rides: A way of living further into my true authentic self.
Education: East Carolina University & many years of listening to others more wise than myself…….
Occupation: Business Development Manager with FSIoffice
Family: Married to Sherrie Fain, two children, Jake age 21 and Bouldin age 15.
Experience: Bike riding was my primary means of transportation when I was a kid. I rode everywhere….. More recently, I’ve participated in Triathlons and in area distance cycling events.
Why he rides: Fellowship, competition, good health and a love for the outdoors. I loved riding bikes as a kid and about 11 years ago, after many “inactive” years, decided to get moving again. I first began Swimming at the YMCA where I was encouraged to get involved in Triathlon. That led to running and cycling where friends opened my eyes to many challenging and fun events, some of which benefit local charitable organizations like Cancer Services.
Why Solar Bear: Cancer has touched our family, like it has so many others. I want to help bring awareness to the good work of Cancer Services. I want to help raise awareness and much needed funds for Cancer Services. They helped our family in our time of need and now we want to help others.
Tommy Jonas, Jr.
Education: University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Occupation: Senior Support Specialist, Inmar
Family: Married; beautiful wife and 3 grown step sons.
Experience: Started Riding in 2003, it’s very addictive! Completed numerous challenging distance rides, including: Three State Three Mountain Century, Bridge to Bridge, 3 Mountain Madness, Assault on Mitchel, Blood Sweat and Gears and most recently Beech Mountain Metric! The more you ride the more you challenge yourself! Plus just being outside and enjoying this beautiful world!
Why he rides: It’s my therapist, mentally cleansing and physically challenging! Cycling is a great past time, and with the saddle time you build friendships that can’t be replaced!
Education: East Carolina University.
Occupation: Professional Solar Bear
Family: Married, three sons ages 26, 31, and 33.
Experience: Has been riding since 1993, triathlete, long-distance rider.
Why he rides: For his health, the camaraderie and being outdoors. “We’re not afraid to ask people where we are.”
Education: Industrial College, Czech Republic
Occupation: CTS Manager, Smith Phillips Building Supply
Family: Married to Beth Sands Masny. Son, stepson, stepdaughter, two grandkids and two dogs. And can’t forget the rest of my wonderful family in here and back in my original homeland.
Experience: Rode all kind of bikes since childhood. I enjoy mountain biking and road biking.
Why he rides: I’m riding for free endorphins. While riding I’ve met many new friends including Solar Bear bunch who gave me opportunity to participate in this ride. I have my close family members and friends affected by cancer.
Education: North Carolina State University.
Family: Married, two daughters ages 26 and 22.
Experience: Triathlete, long-distance rider, swimmer.
Education: University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Occupation: Columnist, Winston-Salem Journal.
Family: Married. Son, 24, and a daughter, 22.
Experience: Not much – a little over two years. Frequently left behind, but have completed several long-distance rides.
Why I ride: First time crossing the state, I ride for my health – mental and physical – and because it’s fun to see how I stack up.
Education: Miami (Ohio).
Occupation: Wells Fargo, sales consultant.
Family: Married, two children, a son 21 and a daughter, 19
Experience: In addition to cycling I have participated in multiple sprint and half Iron Man Triathlons, Mistletoe Half Marathons, MS Rides, Multiple Grand Fondo rides, and when not on the roads, Mountain and Cross biking.
Why he rides: “With work and kids, there’s always something going on, so it’s great to be able to let your mind go, enjoy the scenery and get a good workout at the same time.”
Education: Bowling Green State University, Ohio Northern University School of Law.
Occupation: attorney, Blanco Tackabery & Matamoros, P.A.
Family: Married, two children – a 26-year-old daughter and a 23-year-old son.
Experience: Started riding in the 1980s, gave it up for 25 years, then started back about 10 years ago. Has logged almost 30,000 miles and climbed almost 1,300,000 feet, or more than 44.5 ascents of Mt. Everest from sea level.
Why he rides: To stay in shape, enjoyment and competition between friends. “I like riding with people of similar ability who push me. It’s a good, healthy activity that helps keep you feeling young.”
Education: University of North Carolina.
Occupation: Owner, Eagle Septic Pumping
Family: Married; two sons, 28 and 26.
Experience: Triathlete, long-distance rider for eight years.
Why he rides: “I enjoy doing this stuff because I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to do it. So I’m going to as long as this old body allows.”
Education: Elon University, MBA – South University Columbia, South Carolina
Occupation: VP, Commercial Banker for IBERIABANK in Georgia
Family: One son, 10.
Experience: Has been riding consistently for eight years.
Why he rides: I ride for the enjoyment, exercise and meeting new people and other riders. Cycling gives you such an incredible high and keeps your energy level high. Riding in the mountains though very hard, is my favorite pass time for it allows me to forget about all the unnecessary worries and enjoy the incredible views and scenery.
Education: University of Alabama
Occupation: President & COO, Smith Phillips Building Supply
Family: Separated, two boys, Ashton age 23 and Noah age 19.
Experience: Signed up for Tour to Tanglewood 14 years ago, didn’t even own a bike, avid enthusiast now
Why he rides: Good friends, Good Health, have made a lot of friends riding and participating in these charity events have helped me give back a little for several organizations that do a lot of good for our community, but honestly the benefits I have received in terms of mental and physical health have been a huge blessing to my own well being.