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Falcon bikers seeking help raising funds for cancer-stricken teammate

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Skyridge mountain biker Calvin Smith is 17 years old. Like his teammates, he enjoys few things more than hitting the trail on a glorious sunny day. He’s had a stellar career as a racer and is known for his drive and passion.

However, Cal has a challenge that most people never face: brain cancer. He was first diagnosed at age nine and has had five brain surgeries since then, the last being this past January. The tumor has not only become inoperable now but has also paralyzed the right side of his body.

A group of Cal’s teammates, friends and neighbors have collaborated to arrange an event with the goal of raising the $21,000 needed for an adaptive bike so that Cal can continue to ride using one arm and one leg. The fundraiser is scheduled for Wednesday, May 29.

Readers can check out Cal’s story at https://www.teamcal.org. There you can find details about the three ways that you can help: sponsoring during the event, donating directly to a GoFundMe account, or by purchasing specially-designed gear.

“Calvin's grit, determination, and positive attitude inspire everyone around him,” explained Jason Taylor, head coach for the Skyridge mountain biking team. “He’s an extraordinary individual facing tremendous health challenges but has shown remarkable resilience and strength.

“His spirit has rallied the entire Skyridge mountain bike team, the broader MTB community, the city, businesses, and professional riders all standing behind him with unwavering support as one collective family,” Taylor said.

The Ride for Cal event will start at the Eagle Mountain Rock City Trailhead and is scheduled to last from noon to midnight. There will be drinks and food at the start and then participating riders will begin doing laps on the 6-mile NICA High School race loop.

Riders are seeking sponsors who will contribute for each mile ridden in that single day. Those who don’t know anyone participating can make pledges through a link on the website.All community members are invited “to come out, ride, spectate, share your love and party.”

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Cal is the son of Ryan (not the same-named Jazz owner) and Melanie Smith. “His journey is a testament to the power of community and the incredible impact of unity in the face of adversity,” Taylor said.

“In a united effort to get him riding again, we are excited to ride for 12 hours in his honor. It’s going to be fun,” the coach concluded.

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