Team JoyRide

The JoyRide Cycling Studio Team is back in the saddle and excited to participate in its third CT Challenge! Seven-year cancer survivor Mitch Higgins along with co-founder Rhodie Lorenz and JoyRide trainers Mackenzie Pretty and Julianne Mulvey will lead Team JoyRide in its effort to help cancer survivors live healthier lives. Members of Team JoyRide train at the Darien and Westport studios for free during any off-peak cycle classes – 6 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and Noon, as well as during evening classes.


Since it first opened three years ago, JoyRide has witnessed, first-hand, how indoor cycling can change people’s outlook on exercising and overcome challenges on and off the bike. Together, as a community, riders get fit, build healthy lifestyles, and, on a local, national and global scale, affect change. JoyRide is passionate about indoor cycling, community and making a difference in people's lives.


“We are a group of motivated and dedicated riders who come together to translate our passion for indoor cycling to raise money and affect change,” said Rhodie Lorenz. “When you channel passion and dedication in a positive way, you can change your world!"


For more information, please email JoyRide at

Captain: Mitch Higgins

Team K

“Team K” was our battle cry when our family went through breast cancer last year. It was a statement that we were all (family and friends) in this fight together! Team K is honored and thrilled to be participating in its first CT Challenge this year. We ride for cancer survivorship and support the CT Challenge in its mission to empower cancer survivors to live happier, healthier and longer lives.

Captain: Rob Kolek

Team Leever

2014 marks the 5th year that Team Leever has participated in the CT Challenge. As always, our inspiration is the survivors we see every day who remind us that life is precious and must often be approached like the ride itself “one hill at a time.” The CT Challenge has provided an invaluable opportunity for every survivor in CT to be able to take advantage of the services necessary to move forward from the diagnosis and treatment phase, to the “rest of your life” phase.


At the Harold Leever Regional Cancer Center, our patients are offered state-of-the-art cancer care. Now, after their treatment is completed, they can participate in the Stepping Forward Survivorship Program. We provide services that address their emotional and physical needs as well as promote a healthy lifestyle with healthy cooking classes, nutrition, physical therapy, yoga, massage, energy medicine and community lecture series. Our affiliation with the LIVESTRONG program at the Waterbury YMCA enables our survivors to become more physically active; a cornerstone in survivorship.


We look forward to many more years of our unique partnership with CT Challenge and continue to celebrate the strides in cancer research that have made the number of cancer survivors skyrocket.

Captain: Patti Lizotte

Look No Hands with OSG

I heard Jeff Keith’s inspirational story while undergoing my first round of chemotherapy and radiation for throat cancer. I had always felt blessed by my good health and athletic ability. Everything changed with the cancer treatments. I was bed ridden for six months. I withered away to about 90 pounds. It was a slow recovery. In July 2007, less than a year after my treatments ended, I woke up early and realized the CT Challenge bike ride was that day. Impulsively, I turned to my husband and said, “I want to go on a bike ride.” “OK,” he said. “No, I mean, right now. We need to hurry because the ride starts at 8 a.m.” That was our first ride. We rode 25 miles on our clunky old mountain bikes, but it was amazing. The spirit of the day was so incredible. I had never experienced anything like it. We were hooked and eventually started “Look No Hands.” It was exciting to raise money for a mission that focused on exercise and nutrition to empower cancer survivors.

My husband Dante, an orthopedic surgeon with a big practice in Fairfield— Orthopedic Specialty Group, asked his partners to join our team. The other doctors loved the concept and we formed “Look No Hands with OSG.” Last year was our seventh year riding, our third with OSG, and we raised almost $40,000. This year, even more employees, friends and neighbors are jumping on board, joining our team to be part of such a positive and uplifting day. I will never forget the day I woke up and decided to take charge of my health to ride alongside other cancer survivors and their families.

Captain: Tracey Brittis

To donate to Team Look No Hands with OSG, click here.

Team Local Yokel Media

Team Local Yokel Media is honored to be riding in its 5th CT Challenge. Our company specializes in hyperlocal digital marketing. The CT Challenge is a core charity organization we support. Our team is honored to be riding in such a well-organized, impactful event supporting cancer survivorship. Ride on Local Yokels!

Captain: Dick O’Hare

Team MasterCard

MasterCard is a technology company in the global payments industry operating the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. With a headquarters in Purchase, New York, we are committed to ensuring our engagement within our local community, supporting causes and initiatives that are important not only to the organization, but also to employees. This year MasterCard is proud to have established a partnership with the CT Challenge to support their 10th annual Bike Ride as both an event sponsor, as well as building our first team of riders.

Team Navigators

Team Navigators has been participating in the CT Challenge since 2010 and was honored in 2013 to have the single rider to have raised the most funds. At Navigators, we believe that part of a corporation’s responsibility is to be a meaningful and active part of the communities in which we work and conduct business. Our employees and brokers fly in from as far away as Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas and even London to share in this unique experience. Last year, one of our riders had a sister who was struggling with cancer and unfortunately lost the battle shortly after the cycling event. However, while he was in town to ride, he was able to visit his sister one last time before cycling over 100 miles. There is no member of our team that has not been affected by cancer on some scale. It is an honor not only to contribute to our community and to such a great cause, but also to have the opportunity to share the experience with other Team Navigators members.

Captain: Stan Galanski Watch Passengers (2016)

New Canaan Riders for Survivors

The New Canaan Riders for Survivors team came together in 2013 to support local cancer survivors and create awareness of the programs and resources provided by the CT Challenge. All the riders on the team have done an incredible job raising funds, and many of the team members are Road Warriors! Everyone rides for family and friends who are struggling with cancer, and they are true spokespersons for the groundbreaking support CT Challenge provides. John Murphy, who has been involved with the CT Challenge since it was first started 10 years ago when he organized a team with Kim Kiner of Darien, rides for his sister who is a breast cancer survivor, his nephew who had thyroid cancer as a child, and numerous friends who have faced cancer. John Straus, riding the two-day 190-mile course for his second year, rides for several friends who have had cancer. Arnold and Lisa Karp started riding in 2013 and continue to be top fundraisers, and ride for a close friend who has colon cancer. Rich Brennan and his son Ryan ride for Deborah who has inspired many with her yoga classes at the Center for Survivorship. Along with the rest of the team, everyone rides for one reason: to inspire and empower those close to us!

Captain: John Murphy

Norwalk Hospital Team Sprockets

Team Sprockets is a diverse group of 25 "Linked Individuals Making a Difference," united by our bright jersey and positive outlook. We started in 2009 with eight riders as the team for Norwalk Hospital- Whittingham Cancer Center. The ride enabled the center to support a local cause, according to Linda Versea, Director, Cancer Services. We grew from Jay DesMarteau's efforts, and from the dedication of beloved patient Lori Redmer. Two years ago, Lori challenged teammate Thad Eidman to leave his 25 mile comfort zone and step up to 50! This year's jersey is very special, according to rider Cindy Cornell. Lori's initials (LJR) appear in one of the sprockets and it includes the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation logo, where Lori served as Executive Director until her cancer returned. Cornell has recruited several riders from her church. Todd Erlich and Jim Foster ride in honor of family members. Juliet and Peter Harker celebrate Juliet's successful battle with breast cancer a few years back. Tony Menchaca is riding to celebrate the end of a round of treatment.

Captain: Jay DesMarteau

Team Odds Makers

"Aspire to savor each moment as it passes, embrace all that life has to offer and celebrate the joy of everyday."  #AmyNessel

Team Odds Makers rides with long-term survivor Amy Nessel at the center of every wheel we turn ‘round in support of the life-affirming programs of the CT Challenge. We are close friends, friends of friends and neighbors who consider this day our favorite day of the summer—it’s inspiring, empowering and not to be missed. We ride every year to honor and make a difference in the lives of all Survivors, especially those of parents with young children who have been diagnosed and are juggling the demands of this disease.

The team was originally formed as Team Amy in support of Amy Nessel by a group of friends after she was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in 2010. Wanting to expand and include others the following year, Odds Makers was born. The name comes from Amy’s brother, Paul. While embarking on that first walk to treatment, Paul reassured Amy that she would be an “odds maker.” It’s was a constant mantra for Amy. We lost her last May but not before she beat all the odds in her insistence to live on her own terms – with humor, honesty, compassion, appreciation, love and fight. Those things are never lost.

Captain: Karin Keith