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


Team People’s United Bank

Team People’s United Bank is proud to join the hundreds of other riders in the 10th CT Challenge Bike Ride. People’s United Bank is also pleased to again be a corporate sponsor for the event, helping raise money for the important resources the CT Challenge provides cancer survivors and their supporters and making an essential difference in their lives. We honor the efforts of cancer survivors to take back their lives through the health and wellness programs advocated and delivered by the CT Challenge.

Captain: Valerie Senew

Ride Sally Ride

In July 2009, Sally, my wife of 16 years, told me she was planning to ride in the CT Challenge bike ride later that month. She was battling lung cancer and was in the middle of a six-week hiatus from her third round of chemo. She rode in the 12-mile ride with three friends. The smile on her face and the satisfaction in her voice could not have been greater. She had been bitten by the CT Challenge bug and vowed to ride again. Sadly, her disease accelerated and overtook her life in February 2010. As a lasting tribute to her admiration for this organization and her incredible strength and faith in herself, her family, her friends and the community in which she lived, I picked up a road bike for the first time and established Team Ride Sally Ride. We ride almost 70 strong. I ride because I want to show the world the power of connections and how those connections lead us farther down the path blazed by Sally and the CTC, where cancer survivors can more easily find the resources to get them quickly on the road to rebuilding their lives and finding peace.

Captain: George Richards

Team Ridgefield

Team Ridgefield, is a ‘community minded’ team of cyclists who love to ride and believe in the CT Challenge’s work supporting cancer survivors. We have been supported in outstanding fashion by the Ridgefield Bicycle Company and The Ridgefield Fitness Club. For their support, we are truly grateful! We ride as a group of friends and family in support of survivors in our immediate and extended families and survivors everywhere. We ride in celebration of another year of cancer-free lives. We ride in honor of those we know and love who are currently battling this dreadful disease. We ride in memory of those we will forever miss whose valiant fights with cancer were lost. We also ride because statistics show that one in three Americans will hear the words, “You Have Cancer” at some point during their lives and we want to play our part in helping them live longer, happier, healthier lives. Please join us in making a difference.

Co-Captains: Nick and Kate Lieder

Team Sclafani

Team Sclafani formed eight years ago in support of Pat Sclafani when he was first diagnosed with a rare thoracic cancer, thymoma. We’ve supported Pat through his treatments including surgery, multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. Team Sclafani first rode in the 2007 CT Challenge when Pat was only 7 weeks removed from his last chemo treatment. Crossing the finish line as a team after 50 miles was an incredibly special moment. Even more special is that Pat remains cancer free. Since then, Team Sclafani has grown to honor and support new members, family and friends that have been touched by cancer. To date, we’ve raised $300,000 in support of this worthy cause. In this, our 8th CT Challenge, we celebrate family, friendship and life, and are proud to be a part of this great team. We are TEAM SCLAFANI!

Captain: Bob Pigue

Team Roman

Team Roman developed out of love and support for cancer survivors and a desire to honor those we've lost to cancer. We are a family team who rode in the CT Challenge Bike event for the first time in 2013. Cancer hit our family fast and hard beginning in 2010. My daughter-in-law lost her father to kidney cancer six weeks before her wedding and a short six months later, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Together, Melissa and I discovered the CT Challenge Center for Survivorship just as we needed healing the most. Team Roman has quickly grown and continues to grow with family joining us from our area and all the way to Colorado and California.


The Center has given so much in the way of healing, both body and mind, to so many of us. Riding in the CT Challenge Bike event allows Team Roman the opportunity to give back and say thank you! We ride because WE, the survivors, family members and friends can. Cancer is ugly, however, the Center and all it offers gives us courage and strength to heal in the most positive way.


Team Roman plans to ride every single year. Last year, we raised about $10,000 for CT Challenge and this year we hope to do much better.

Captain: Joni Roman

Team Sherpa

A Goal + Commitment, Passion, Resolve, Focus, and a Solid Plan led by sure-footed guides = Team Sherpa! We are a goal-based training and coaching company proud to be riding in support of the CT Challenge for our fourth year. Our team is a dedicated group of coaches, clients, friends and family of all ages, each keen to top the fundraising bar we set for ourselves months prior to the big event. We each start the Challenge with different fitness levels but together finish with the same goal: supporting the CTC’s mission of taking control of your life through fitness, good food and embracing the positive challenges that help you grow.

Captain: Brett Jones